DOF commits to assist in Ormoc rehabilitation

MANILA-- The Department of Finance (DOF) has committed to help fund the rehabilitation of Ormoc City, which was devastated by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake earlier this month.

In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Executive Director Helen Habulan of the Municipal Development Fund Office (MDFO) said an initial estimate provided by Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez placed the amount needed for the rehabilitation efforts at P1 billion.

Habulan said the DOF will finance the reconstruction of Ormoc City's water source and main pipes that were damaged during the quake, the evacuation efforts and the resettlement of three barangays affected by the landslides and aftershocks.

Mayor Gomez will ask the City Council to convene for the required Resolution, then we wil proceed immediately for appraisal to establish the final amount of loan assistance, Habulan said in her report to Dominguez.

Included in the financing are the acquisition of heavy equipment which the city needs for its extensive rehabilitation and acquisition of the necessary materials for the resettlement of affected families, she added.

Habulan also reported that the MDFO and Ormoc city officials led by Gomez are already validating and finalizing details on the amount covered by the loan and its amortization schedule.

The MDFO will also send a team to Ormoc to conduct a field validation after the office receives the resolution of the city council (Sangguniang Panlungsod) on the loan request, Habulan said.

According to Habulan, the MDFO has placed Ormoc City's net borrowing capacity at P3.2 billion with no existing loans on record, which makes the city fully capable of repaying its obligations.

The MDFO administers the Municipal Development Fund (MDF), a special revolving fund that was established for relending to local government units (LGUs) to enable them to tap funds from local and international sources for the implementation of their respective development projects.

A magnitude 6.5 quake hit Ormoc last July 6, with close to 300 aftershocks recorded. It was the strongest to hit Ormoc in recent years, killing two persons and injuring about 100 others.

The quake also destroyed over 500 houses and damaged 62 others in 12 mountain barangays of the city. The supply of water and electricity to the city were also cut off and are now being fully restored.

President Duterte visited Ormoc last July 14 and assured residents that the government has a rehabilitation plan in place for the city and other areas in Leyte devastated by the tremor.

Source: Philippine Information Agency

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