TACLOBAN CITY, Oct. 10 (PNA) – The Department of the Interior and Local Government has asked three local government units to rush the implementation of the first batch of post-Yolanda projects to avoid reverting back unspent funds to the National Treasury.

In a report to the media, the DILG said three projects under the 2013 releases for the Recovery Assistance Yolanda (RAY) is not yet complete nearly three years after the fund disbursement.

“If it’s really beyond their capacity, the money will be returned to the Bureau of Treasury, but we’re trying our best that no money would lapse especially that these projects are badly needed,” said Marivel C. Sacendoncillo, DILG Eastern Visayas regional director.

These incomplete projects, as posted in the DILG official website are the rehabilitation of public market in Tanauan, Leyte; construction of city hall in Tacloban City, and rehabilitation of city hall in Ormoc City.

Under RAY batch 1, the national government has poured PHP938 million funds for repair of 144 buildings owned by town and city governments along super typhoon Yolanda’s path in Eastern Visayas region.

Sacendoncillo hopes that all projects will be completed within the year to contribute to the full recovery of affected areas.

The official believed that backlogs could be attributed to the capability of local government units to come up with resilient engineering designs and some procurement concerns.

To address this, the DILG has tied up with Eastern Visayas State University in Tacloban City, Samar State University in Catbalogan City, and the Eastern Samar State University in Borongan City to provide technical assistance to local government units.

“We are confident that SUCs offering engineering courses will help us not only to address this backlog, but in future projects as well,” she added.

At least 29 local government units have been trained last week. Another 29 LGUs will be trained this week.

After the RAY batch 1, the DILG disbursed early in 2015 the PHP995.06 million funds for 1,613 subprojects under batch 2 intended for reconstruction of barangay (village) facilities.

Early this year, the department got some PHP592.64 million to support 491 unfunded and incomplete subprojects under the first two batches.

RAY is the government’s strategic plan to guide the recovery and reconstruction of the economy, lives, and livelihoods in the affected areas. The objective of the plan is to restore the economic and social conditions of these areas at the very least to their pre-typhoon levels and to a higher level of disaster resilience. (PNA)