By Joey A. Gabieta | INQUIRER.net
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines—Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is asking the national government to expedite the release of funds for the rehabilitation of areas hit by Supertyphoon Yolanda.
Senator Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr. Photo by Ryan Leagogo/INQUIRER.net
“I know there are funds. The process, it’s too slow. It’s being treated like an ordinary government project. This is an emergency. This is disaster relief,” Marcos told a news conference here on Friday.
“Right now, it is clear that the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Yolanda-stricken areas is still being spearheaded by foreign donations, foreign agencies and Philippine corporations, all in the private side and in the private sector,” he added.
Marcos cited the assistance extended by the Air Asia Foundation, which donated $2.17 million or P97.42 million that was coursed through various groups such as the Philippine Red Cross, Gawad Kalinga and Habitat for Humanity for the construction of houses for affected families in Tacloban and Panay Island.
Marcos’ mother, former first lady and now Ilocos Rep. Imelda Romuladez, is from Tacloban. He is the only son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
The senator visited different parts of Tacloban on Friday. He went to the bunk houses where close to 1,000 families whose homes were destroyed by a storm surge spawned by the typhoon now live.
Marcos said he hoped the national government would find ways to speed up its rehabilitation efforts.
“There is so much red tape going on. In fact, it was validated by Secretary (Panfilo) Lacson. He is focusing on the private sector because it’s faster unlike the government, where there is a lot of bureaucracy and red tape,” Marcos said.
“I do not propose to cut corners but I think we can do a lot to expedite the process,” he added.
He said he could not blame Lacson for the slow pace of the recovery effort since his former colleague in the Senate had no control over the funds.
“What he can do is just ask support from different agencies of government,” he added.