Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Philippines creates Reconstruction Commission


DAGUPAN CITY (PND) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Monday announced the creation a Special National Public-Private Reconstruction Commission to study the causes of the weather abnormalities, what actions to take to prepare the country, and the cost such actions will entail.

The President made the announcement at the West Central Elementary School here, where the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC)-Cabinet meeting was being held to assess the damage wrought by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

'' I signed the executive order the other day,'' she said, adding, however, that Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita has yet to issue it.

According to the President, there is need for such a special commission because of the increasing severity of typhoons and the magnitude of the devastation.

The commission will also undertake the rehabilitation program and raise the necessary funds for the purpose. Thus, one of its responsibilities is to work closely with the United Nations, the World Bank, and donor countries.

For that reason, somebody from the business community will head the commission. The President, however, did not name who that might be, if indeed she already had someone in mind.

Finance Secretary Margarito Teves and a religious leader will act as co-chairs, while certain other members of the Cabinet, representatives from business groups, non-government organizations here and abroad making up the board of directors.

She issued the executive order because ... of the magnitude of the impact of the recent calamities that hit the country in the midst of the global financial crunch that also affected fiscal capacity.

The Commission was tasked to undertake a study on the causes, costs and actions to be taken in the wake of the three typhoons that wrecked great damage to the country.

It will also undertake the rehabilitation plan for wrecked infrastructure and other priorities; prioritize programs as well as oversee implementation of these programs.

The special commission that will be headed by a business leader will also raise funds, especially grants, to fund reconstruction.

It will also serve as a clearing house for international assistance implemented by donors themselves using the cluster approach.

Furthermore, the Commission was also tasked to request the United Nations and the World Bank to coordinate an international pledging session.

The Commission will have Finance Secretary Margarito Teves and a church leader as co-chairs with all department heads and business groups, representatives of Philippine and international non-government organizations as members.

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