Half of 200K target housing units for Yolanda victims completed - Palace
The Philippine government has constructed only almost half of the over 200,000 target permanent housing units for the families displaced by super typhoon "Yolanda" five years ago.
In a statement on Wednesday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace joins the entire country in commemorating on Thursday the fifth anniversary of "Yolanda" that devastated most parts of the country, particularly Leyte and nearby provinces.
Citing the report of the Presidential Assistant for Special Concerns, the oversight official for the Yolanda rehabilitation project, Panelo said as of December 31, 2017, a total of P146.156 billion was released to implementing national government agencies, government-owned-and-controlled corporations and local government units.
Half of the funds released were allotted for housing programs and ancillary basic utilities, he said.
Of the 205,128 permanent housing targets for "Yolanda", as of October 30 this year, 100,709 have been completed, 46,412 have already been occupied while 54, 297 are now ready for occupancy, Panelo said, quoting the National Housing Authority.
"To speed up resettlement, we are addressing issues that cause the delay, which include limited availability of titled lands for resettlement, slow processing and issuance of permits and licenses for construction projects and absence of sustainable livelihood opportunities, among others," he said.
Panelo said the Department of Finance and the Department of Social Welfare and Development are drafting a joint order to create a one-stop shop facility for relief consignment, similar to the proposal of Senator Sonny Angara.
He added that the government has been engaged in information campaign about climate change and its impact on the communities.
"There is no perfect time to push for better disaster resilience measures than now," he said.
He noted the Palace-backed bill, creating the Department of Disaster Resilience.
"We thank the pro-active leadership of the House of Representatives for approving on third and final reading House Bill 8165, otherwise known as the Department of Disaster Resilience Act, and we hope the leadership of the Senate would do the same," he said.
About 7,000 people were killed and reported missing when "Yolanda" struck the country in November 2013. Celerina Monte/DMS