MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday said it recognized the local government units (LGUs), as well as other national government agencies and the private sector for properly using the Resettlement Governance Assistance Fund (RGAF) for those affected by the relocation from danger areas and waterways in Metro Manila.

The DILG said this include the proper use of the RGAF 2017 and 2019 in the establishment of community facilities and for the implementation of projects and activities on peace and order, disaster risk reduction, community development, sustainable livelihood development and capacity building in resettlement sites.

Binibigyan lang natin ng recognition yung mga opisyales ng lokal na gobyerno, ang ating mga regional offices ng DILG at yung mga homeowners sa pag-implement ng resettlement governance assistance fund na ginawa nating pantulong sa mga resettlement sites. Ito yung mga kababayan natin na inalis natin sa danger areas at waterways sa Metro Manila in accordance with Oplan Likas (We give recognition to local government officials, our DILG regional offices and homeowners for implementing the resettlement governance assistance fund that we have created to help in resettlement sites. These are the families that we have removed from danger areas and waterways in Metro Manila in accordance with Oplan Likas),” DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III told the Philippine News Agency during the three-day event held at Hive Hotel and Convention Place, Diliman, Quezon City.

Densing said there were 30 resettlement sites in Metro Manila, Regions 3 (Central Luzon), and 4A (Calabarzon) whose families were living near the waterways that were transferred to safer grounds.

“Close to 10,000 to 20,000 families ang nailabas para sa Oplan Likas, ang ginawa ng DILG is nakakuha tayo ng budget at ginamit natin ito sa mga karagdagang tulong sa mga resettlement sites kagaya ng pagbibigay ng facilities for peace and order, mga CCTV cameras. Yung mga wastewater treatment, yung mga livelihood programs, yun po ginamit ng kaparehan (what was released for the Oplan Likas was used for additional assistance to the resettlement sites such as providing facilities for peace and order, CCTV cameras, putting up of wastewater treatment plants, and livelihood programs),” Densing explained.

The RGAF budget for 2017 was around PHP274.7 million, which funded 184 target projects in 18 resettlement sites, while for 2019, around PHP128.1 million were used for 138 target projects in 18 resettlement sites. However, in 2018, the House of Representatives did not approve the budget for resettlement governance assistance funds.

In 2017 and 2019, the DILG through the Capacitating LGUs on Resettlement Governance - Project Management Office (CLRG- PMO), downloaded the RGAF to 15 LGUs in the National Capital Region (NCR), Regions 3 and 4-A, through their DILG Regional Offices.

As part of the continuous monitoring and evaluation of the RGAF, the CLRG-PMO is conducting an activity to culminate and recognize the efforts of partner LGUs in the implementation of the 2017 and 2019 RGAF in their respective areas.

To date, the 2017 RGAF has been fully utilized based on the physical and financial reports that partner LGUs have provided. The 2019 RGAF is ongoing with the submission of terminal reports and reversion of balances to the Bureau of Treasury. The awarding and recognition activity is an avenue to highlight the completion of the 2017 and 2019 RGAF and recognize the people behind its success and those with best practices from the Central Office down to the implementers in the regional offices and LGUs.

The three-day activity aims to accomplish objectives to present the overview, highlights, and best practices for LGUs of the 2017 and 2019 RGAF implementation; recognize project implementers: DILG central office, regional offices, field offices; partner LGUs and its functionaries; RGAF focals from 30 resettlement sites; present awards to project implementers; and present testimonials of beneficiaries who have benefited from the RGAF. (PNA)