Pres. Duterte Hands Over Permanent Housing To Yolanda Survivors, Vows To Relocate All Displaced Families By March
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visited government’s permanent housing project for Typhoon Yolanda survivors in Tacloban City promising to relocate displaced families by March this year. The President arrived at New Hope Village in Brgy. Sta. Elena, Tacloban City on Wednesday, January 25 to inspect the government’s P290 million housing program for the typhoon survivors and to lead in the turnover of 1,100 housing units to families of this city, who lost their houses during the strongest typhoon to hit land in 2013.
The 1,100 units are located in New Hope Village, Ridge View Village, Greendale, Guadalupe, Villa Diana, Villa Sofia and North Hill Arbours.
In his message, President Duterte said he was angered by the government’s inability to immediately provide shelter to the survivors three years after Typhoon Yolanda struck Eastern Visayas.
The President gave concerned agencies until March to make sure that the remaining 8,816 families would be in permanent shelters two months from now.
“January, February, March. By March, you should have transferred already to permanent shelters and I will come back here. If these are not ready, they better make five crosses, like the one used by Christ. I will make them carry these crosses around here,” he said.
President Duterte, however, didn’t specify whom he would hold accountable if the deadline was not met by March although he alluded to officials of agencies involved in providing permanent houses for Yolanda survivors.
During the ceremony, Secretary Leoncio Evasco, Chair of Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, updated the public on the resettlement of families who lost their houses due to Yolanda.
His report showed that as of January 23, 5,617 families had been relocated to the resettlement sites in Tacloban, considered the ground zero of Yolanda.
The figures were about 38 percent of the 14,433 families who have not been relocated to the same number of housing units.
The construction of the housing units involved the National Housing Authority (NHA) in coordination with other government agencies like the Department of Public Works and Highways, Local Water Utilities Administration and its local counterpart, the Leyte Metropolitan Water District, and the National Electrification Administration through its local utility, the Leyte II Electric Cooperative.
Meanwhile, Rizalde Mediavillo, Regional Manager of the NHA, said that they would do their “best effort” to comply with the presidential deadline, the second made by President Duterte.
“We will do what is right. If it is necessary to do overtime, we will do overtime,” Mediavillo said.
The NHA earlier cited bad weather, difficulties of finding relocation sites and site development as among the reasons for the delay of the construction of these houses.