Both national and international attention, in the aftermath of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), are now focused on former senator Panfilo Lacson, and for a reason.
Lacson was hand-picked by President Aquino to be the Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR) specifically for his leadership, professionalism, incorruptibility and highly regarded work ethics, not to mention his being a political ally of Aquino. The assignment has a rank of a secretary.
So much is expected of Lacson, in so big and complicated a job, and in so short a time, that he has come to realize that if he is made accountable for it then he should have more power to make PARR effective.
Perhaps, by this time all the necessary coordination for assistance and help have been identified and exhausted except that this time also authority and discipline are required as rehabilitation is done in earnest.
What is importantly needed now by Lacson is to ensure that the implementation of programs, policies and projects are done according to the studies and plans made.
This is where Lacson has to have all the mechanism in place to make sure that control of the resources are handled honestly and diligently so that progress can be measured accordingly against the normal or standard.
It was understandable, therefore, when Lacson said that if he had his way, he wants more teeth in his role as the rehabilitation czar.
He stressed that PARR needs more to initiate an investigation into the possible delay of certain projects.
Obviously, if Lacson is accountable for the performance of PARR, then he should also be accountable for the finances.
This is what is important – to make sure that concerns and priorities are acted upon and followed.
There has to be transparency in every step of the rehabilitation process and Lacson should have the necessary tools at his disposal to make sure that he could run after those who would be indulging in graft and corruption at the expense of the afflicted places and its citizens.
Only with more teeth in his job can Lacson show to the world community that their help has not gone in vain.