Schwarzenegger to visit RP next month–PDRF official

January 28, 2010 10:47 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 28 —California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will visit the country next month, an official from the National Public-Private Reconstruction Commission said on Thursday.

Butch Meily, executive director of the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF), in a media briefing at Malacanang on Thursday, said that Schwarzenegger would visit the country to assess the damage brought by typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng and Frank to the country.

Meily said that Schwarzenegger, a popular Holywood action star in his film Terminator, and his group will give assistance to the Reconstruction Commission to help reconstruct the damage brought by the three tropical storms.

He said that the foundation was now finalizing the arrangement for the scheduled visit of Schwarzenegger next month.

He also said that the Schwarzenegger also wanted to share the experience of California during the onslaught of hurricane Katrina.

Meanwhile, Deputy Presidential Spokesman Ricardo Saludo, who is also the secretariat of the National Reconstruction Commission, said that the Commission expected that the next President would continue the rehabilitation of the areas devastated by the typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng and Frank.

In a report by the Commission, about P206 billion, or 2.7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), worth of properties were damaged by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

Saludo also said during the same media briefing that the Commission has US$ 7.58 million loan from the different international lending agencies that would be used in the reconstruction of the infrastructures and properties damaged by Ondoy and Pepeng last year.

Saludo said the reconstruction works would last for three years and it was an important project that need to be continued by the next President.

Saludo also said that when President Arroyo’s term expires on June 30 this year, around P7 billion worth of the reconstruction project would be completed.

The priorities of the Reconstruction Commission, according to Saludo, were the damaged schools, infrastructures, irrigation and flood control.

Saludo also said the Reconstruction Commission was also expecting that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would exempt the projects from the contruction ban on government projects.

He also told Malacanang reporters that the Reconstruction Commission is scheduled to have a dialogue with the Comelec to explain its position for securing the exemption for election ban on the projects undertaken by them Rehabilitation Commission.(PNA)



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