For lack of trusted people having had the experience and familiarity of participating/involving themselves in massive reconstruction and rehabilitation projects, President Benigno Aquino has deemed it wise to name instead former senator Panfilo Lacson to lead this extensive and challenging operation of seeing to it that the areas badly devastated by super typhoon Yolanda, Haiyan will rise again and bring back normality to the lives of its residents.
More than the expertise, and considering the huge amount of funding, both national and foreign, allotted for this undertaking, what is important is that the person considered for the job has not only the ability to plan, lead, organize, control and elicit cooperation from all sectors involved in the project, but also has the honesty, transparency and dogged determination of a no-nonsense individual so that the whole, collective effort will be done and/or be finished in a given time table.
I think Aquino saw Lacson fitting to a T for this particular position and job, based from the latter’s experience and exposure of heading a large organization like the Philippine National Police (PNP) and as a senator of the realm, both positions commanding and demanding respectability and probity.
In accepting the job as rehabilitation czar, which he described as ‘daunting but doable’, Lacson admitted that, not being an architect or an engineer, he was not familiar with reconstruction and rehabilitation works, but the assurances of urban planners and other consultants gave him the confidence that he was up for the job, if he could have them in his team, after all he is equipped with the administrative skill needed to make things happen.
Projects to be undertaken are those involving housing, infrastructure, livelihood, employment opportunities, local facilities and social services.
These will apply to the devastated 171 municipalities, covering 4,971 villages in an area of 25,000 square kilometers and affecting 6.6 million people.
Lacson said he will try to finish at least 85 percent of the job before Aquino steps down from power in June 2016, leaving the rest of the task to local government units.
This is the kind of assurance, if not resoluteness, and help, that matters most to Aquino, politically.
Now you know why Lacson never got lost in Aquino’s radar for a position in his cabinet going towards his last three years in office.