DAVAO CITY – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go requested the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) on Friday to prepare a master plan for the rehabilitation of the fire-ravaged villages of Jolo, Sulu.
Go’s request came after President Rodrigo Duterte tasked Secretary Emmanuel Piñol to supervise the rehabilitation of the families who were displaced by a fire in Jolo, Sulu last February 3.
The fire destroyed about 1,600 houses in barangays Chinese Pier, Takut-Takut, Tulay, and Zones 1 and 4 in Jolo, leaving nine people injured and affecting about 3,000 families.
Go, along with Social Welfare Undersecretary Aimee Neri, provided financial assistance to the fire victims.
He also conveyed President Rodrigo Duterte’s message to the fire victims with the commitment of support in the rehabilitation program.
Go said the master plan would be presented to Duterte as the basis for the rehabilitation process.
In response, Piñol said MinDA would start conducting an intensive stakeholder consultation by next week to complete the Jolo Rehabilitation Master Plan before the end of the month.
He said a Project Monitoring and Advisory Group (PMAG) composed of stakeholders, village leaders, local officials, security officials, religious leaders, members of the academe, private sector organizations, and relevant government agencies would be organized
next week to oversee the planned rehabilitation of the fire-affected areas of Jolo.
The PMAG was patterned after the Infrastructure Monitoring and Advisory Group, which was formed by the then-Mindanao Economic Development Council to oversee and monitor the implementation of government projects in Mindanao.
“The PMAG ensures the involvement of all sectors in critical government projects to ensure its speedy implementation and curb corruption,” Piñol said.
He has already presented the idea to Sulu Governor Sakur Tan, Jolo Mayor Kerkhar Tan, and Notre Dame of Jolo president Fr. Ed Santoyo, who approved of the proposal.
Immediately after arriving from Jolo on Friday, Piñol convened the MinDA staff to chart directions for the planned rehabilitation not only of the fire-affected villages but of the entire town.
“The program will start with the immediate rehabilitation of the three coastal villages of the town where an estimated 1,600 houses on stilts were burned on February 3,” Piñol said. “We will immediately go back to Sulu and hold a series of consultations and ground planning.” (PNA)