Most post-Sendong rehab projects still unfunded – NEDA

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/19 June) – A total of P42.657 billion in projects have been lined up under the strategic action plan for rehabilitation efforts in the aftermath of floods brought by tropical storm Sendong in December last year. But six months after the tragedy only P3.17 billion or 7.43 percent of this amount is available, according to a report by the National Economic Development Authority-10.

A report last month by the Regional Development Council (RDC) said only 108 projects were covered by the P3.17-billion available budget. These projects have either been completed or were ongoing, the RDC said.

The rest are either unfunded (P37.317 billion), partially funded or needing additional budget (P1.569 billion), or for approval (P605.108 million).

The bulk or P2.25 billion of the P3.17-billion fund went into social intervention projects, with 60.4 percent implemented in Cagayan de Oro City and 36.4 percent in Iligan City.

Leon Dacanay Jr., NEDA 10 regional director, cited in his report to the RDC’s 93rd Full Council Meeting on May 17 that the status of funding from the national government, local government units, and other partners was estimated “to determine the remaining SAP investment requirements that may be proposed for funding by official development assistance (ODA) sources.

NEDA regional offices serve as secretariats to the RDCs.

Infrastructure comprised the bulk of the unfunded projects (79.1 percent or P29.523 billion), followed by the social sector (P8.43 billion), economic sector (P1.03 billion), and macro-development and governance intervention (P256.3 million).

Of the P37.317-billion that is unavailable as of to date, P18.869 billion is intended for Cagayan de Oro, P16.036 billion for Iligan, P1.043 billion for region-wide projects; P656.776 million for Bukidnon, P317.293 million for Misamis Occidental, P258.650 million for Valencia City, and P122.248 million for Misamis Oriental.

Of the partially-funded P1.569-billion projects, P1.342 billion or 85.6 percent are for social interventions with more than half or P758.380 million for Iligan City and P422.800 million for Cagayan de Oro.  Only 0.4 percent and 5.3 percent of the ongoing projects belonged to the macro-development and infrastructure sectors, respectively.

As of April 27, P605.108 million worth of projects were “subject for funding approval.”

In resettlement, the report cited that of the P9.267 billion needed to buy lots, build 39,952 houses and procure community facilities needed in the areas affected, only P2.524 billion or 27.2 percent has been committed so far.

Dacanay noted in his report that the budget for these projects were either included in the 2013 General Appropriations Act or being processed for funding by the local government unit or ODA partners such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the International Fund for Agriculture Development.

Dacanay presented the strategic action plan for the rehabilitation and recovery of areas affected by Sendong to the NEDA-ODA coordination meeting on April 16.

MindaNews requested for an updated report on the status of funds from NEDA 10 on June 18 but received no response yet. A member of the RDC secretariat confirmed on Monday that the report was the latest they got as of the RDC meeting last month.

Rebecca Capistrano, a senior planning officer from the Bukidnon provincial planning and development office said the funding usually comes in stages.

She cited that during the RDC meeting, NEDA and RDC signed a memorandum of agreement with the LGUs of the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, and Valencia to ensure the speedy processing of the requisites such as the Comprehensive Development Plan and the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

The provincial government hosted the RDC meeting last month.  (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)