Lifting Bohol from the ruins sent the Interior secretary back, now in the mood to commend local officials as things start taking shape in the implementation of the Bohol Earthquake Assistance Fund.
National media once reported Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Mar Roxas scolded Bohol officials in his visit here last year for barely accomplishing anything in the rehabilitation effort, despite the release of P2.3-billion Bohol Earthquake Assistance (BEA) Fund.
This time, Roxas commended the Bohol officials for the unity in working on the programs of works for the 1,066 infrastructures to replace those damaged during the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in October 2013, a few involved repairs.
In fact, some local government units already started with the civil works on the rehabilitation projects under the BEA such ashealth centers, barangay halls, municipal halls, civic centers, and public markets.
LGUs had difficulty completing all the programs of works in the first half of last year for all the projects, considering the numberâ€”20-48 projects to in line for an area with just one municipal engineer.
To address the lack of engineers to help the LGUs prepare the programs of works, Roxas recalled DILG hired at least 15 more engineers, while the provincial government and the other LGUs also hired additional engineers.
Since then, the pace in preparing the program of works improved and implementation of 300 of the 1,066 projects are now ongoing.
Moreover, Roxas said that it is for the benefit of the Boholanos that the procurement of the materials had been made locally.
At least P141 million had been disbursed and P216 million had been allotted to Sagbayan, the epicenter of the earthquake.
The money was downloaded directly to theÂ provincial and municipal governments without any anomaly.
Transparency in every transaction is a must and the standard procedures had been observed, he added.
According to Roxas, all these efforts are meant to be able to make the rehabilitation fast to bring quality services to people as soon as possible especially to Sagbayan which was greatly affected by the earthquake.
This year is the banner year for the economy of Bohol as jobs, income and tourism rates are increasing, according to Roxas.
Gov. Edgar Chatto accompanied Roxas on site inspections of finished and ongoing rehabilitation projects under the BEA Fund.
They visited the completed Cogon Day Care Center in Inabanga and the ongoing rehabilitation of the municipal gym and public market in Sagbayan, according to the information office of the Capitol.
The projects are part of 1,066 projects implemented through the P2.3-billion local government infrastructure fund provided by the national government through the DILG.
During the interview with DYRD Inyong Alagad yesterday, Roxas likened himself as a soldier battling together with the people against corruption â€œtungoÂ sa daang matuwidâ€.
According to Roxas, public service is the key to â€œmatuwid na daanâ€.
When asked about his reported bid for Presidency in the 2016 elections, Roxas explained that there are problems to be addressed first at this time and that there is a time for talks about his 2016 bid.
Roxas said he came mainly to make sure that the services are delivered to the people and that projects are being done.
Facing today’s concerns and worries is a better priority rather than thinking on what will happen in the year 2016 national elections.
The DILG Secretary also said that in order to make a “daang matuwid” a leader should render public service not for oneself but for everyone, the kind of public service that would meet the needs and solve the worries of today.
Under the current administration of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, the people can see that their money go back to them in the form of services unlike in the past when all the people hear were pledges and plans, according to Roxas.(with reports from Novie V. Arat, Jan Lemuel Galero, Aimee Claire Requierme,Â and Rosedil Jann G. Alfarero)