Davao City  – “The Php10.53 billion rehabilitation funds for victims of TS Pablo (Bopha) was shared among national-line agencies undertaking rehabilitation efforts,” clarified DSWD Regional Director Priscilla N. Razon amidst  clamor  aired by some militant groups questioning where DSWD put the funds.

Bearing placards and tarpaulins, the group of protesters who started to arrive in D. Suazo St. late Sunday evening, staged a rally in front of the Social Welfare and Development Office Monday morning and marched to Rizal Park along San Pedro St. just before noon time.

It can be recalled that in December 2013, President Benigno S. Aquino III appointed Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras to head Task Force Pablo.  Along with the appointment of Almendras came the P10.53-billion budget for the Task Force Pablo Rehabilitation Plan.

Pursuant to the directive of the President, Task Force Pablo was created to develop the comprehensive Pablo Rehabilitation Plan (PRP), which aims to rationalize, harmonize, streamline, simplify, integrate, and unify the efforts of government agencies mandated to rehabilitate the affected areas and address the needs of the affected population.

The Office of the Cabinet Secretary was designated as Chair of the Task Force to ensure proper implementation, management, monitoring, evaluation and integration of the social services, infrastructure, resettlement, and livelihood rehabilitation plans, policies, and programs.

Director Razon said the task force is composed of the departments of Science and Technology, Social Welfare and Development, Trade and Industry, the Interior and Local Government, Agriculture, Public Works and Highways, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, National Irrigation, among others.

Director Razon further explained that the DSWD fund allocation is focused on building of permanent shelter units for the homeless under its Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP).

Other agencies were directed to undertake and speed up disaster risk reduction assessment; livelihood generation; and repair of damaged roads, bridges, school buildings and other government infrastructures, she added. (DSWD)