Instead of the usual wholesale distribution of housing units, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Thursday said government will start the partial turnover of new and disaster-resilient resettlement homes for families displaced by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”
Nograles said that there is no longer a need for elaborate ceremonies to give these long-awaited housing units to the beneficiaries. Instead, the government will just quickly turn them over in small batches.
The Yolanda relocation sites will be turned into full-blown communities complete with all amenities, including livelihood projects, health centers, multi-purpose halls, and schools.
“Gusto ko na sa tuwing may mga units na tapos na ay agad na itong mai-turn over sa mga pamilyang sinalanta ng bagyong Yolanda. Kapag may 20 o 30 housing units na pwedeng paglipatan yung mga beneficiaries ay ibigay na natin para mayroon na silang masilungan na bagong bahay na disaster-resilient,” Nograles said during the
14th Meeting on the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Unified Implementation and Monitoring of Rehabilitation and Recovery Projects in the Yolanda Corridor (IATF-Yolanda) held in Malacañang.
Nograles, who is also the head of the inter-agency task force, said that the National Housing Authority (NHA) is expected to complete the entire housing project for the displaced Yolanda victims by 2020.
He pointed out however that the government does not need to wait for the 100% completion of the housing units and should start distributing those that are ready for occupancy and are already equipped with basic necessities such as water and electricity.
Once finished, Nograles said the Yolanda relocation sites will be turned into full-blown communities complete with all amenities, including livelihood projects, health centers, multi-purpose halls, and schools.
The Cabinet Secretary said that out of the 205,128 housing units that are being built by the NHA purposely for the Yolanda victims, 59% or 120,615 units have been completed so far as of July 31, 2019. Of the completed housing units, only 57, 064 units or 47% have been turned over to the intended beneficiaries.
He added that upon the instruction of President Duterte, the IATF-Yolanda would start distributing the remaining 63,551 units even in small batches so that the beneficiaries can move in right away.
“Gusto po natin na mapakinabangan na agad ito ng recipients para maiparamdam natin sa kanila ang tunay na malasakit ng pamahalaan, lalung-lalo na sa gitna ng pagsusungit ng panahon. Dahil kapag nakalipat na sila sa kanilang bagong bahay ay makakapamuhay na sila ng tahimik at malayo sa peligro,” Nograles said.
In his visit to areas devastated by Yolanda, Nograles urged local government heads to reconvene their local inter-agency committees that would manage the proper distribution of the resettlement housing units.
Nograles is scheduled to visit Iloilo on August 19 to meet with local government officials for the reactivation of LIACs (local interagency committees) in their respective towns.