Gov't eyes no-dwelling zones in 'Yolanda' areas

Posted at 01/28/14 11:42 AM

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MANILA - Rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday said the Philippine government is planning to amend the 40-meter no-build zone from the shoreline into a no-dwelling zone instead.

Lacson said the matter was agreed upon during the last Cabinet meeting.

He insisted this should in no way compromise the minimum structural requirements set by government for rehabilitation and reconstruction plans in 171 cities and municipalities ravaged by super typhoon "Yolanda."

"Problema ng tourism yan kasi paano kung may investors na gusto beach resorts? Paano pagbabawalan na no -build zone? So to be practical gawin nating no dwelling zone. You cannot build there permanently pero siguro you can build structures in those areas resilient enough," he said.

He added: "Kasama sa minimum musts namin evacuation center sa warning palang barangay heads may drill alam saan pupunta."

Amid the controversy over substandard bunkhouses, Lacson said he and the Department of Public Works and Highways have agreed to stop the construction of bunkhouses and instead provide construction materials and cash-for-work to affected communities with the help of donor agencies and private groups.

He said he expects the full implementation of the rehabilitation plan by 2017 and a substantial or at least 80%-85% compliance by the time the President's term ends on June 30, 2016.

With the creation of a multi-donor fund, he said implementing agencies will be accountable for how the funds are spent.

Amid allegations he may be positioning himself for a presidential bid in 2016, Lacson said he has no political aspirations. He said he is committing himself to rehabilitating typhoon-hit areas.

24 areas of intervention

The government has divided 171 cities and municipalities ravaged by super typhoon Yolanda into 24 areas of intervention and development to speed up their rehabilitation.

Lacson said multilateral agencies and the private sector can choose among the 24 which area they will help rebuild.

He said 11 of the 24 areas have already been adopted by development sponsors.

He said the sponsors can come up with their own designs for the shelters as long as they follow government parameters.

"Bahala sila kung gusto nilang dome or anong design basta it can withstand 250 km per hour wind," he said.

"Bukod sa development sponsors, meron kaming sector sponsors...gusto namin magcontribute sa livelihood."