‘Yolanda housing still incomplete’

The National Housing Authority reported that 5,767 houses have been completed here as of mid-February, but admitted that it would not be able to hit its target of 13,928 housing units by the end of 2016.

"We address problems as they come. The most common issue is the process of securing development permits. Problems like logistics and shortage of construction materials is still there, but not as bad as early last year," said NHA regional manager Rizalde Mediavillo.

The NHA is currently building 8,161 houses in 19 sites located at the city's northern villages, he said.

Despite the completion of thousands of units, only about 200 houses are occupied by families from high risk zones primarily due to the absence of a permanent water supply and electricity.

"Another concern of families is the distance of new houses from schools where their children are currently enrolled. By the end of school year, we will transfer 800 to 1,000 families," Mediavillo said.

Department of Education regional director Luisa Bautista-Yu said they have to assess the need to build more classrooms, taking into account school children's population and existing learning facilities in the areas.

"We have yet to come up with proposed budget for the construction of more school buildings," she said.

Presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe, who visited Sunday, said survivors of ''Yolanda'' have endured the slow pace of rehabilitation and recontruction because of politicking and bureaucracy.

The province is a bailiwick of the Marcos and Romualdez families whom President Benigno Aquino III holds responsible for the assassination of his father, the Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.

Poe noted that two years after super typhoon struck the Eastern Visayas, most of the city's survivors were still living in tents and bunkhouses.

The Tacloban local government reported that as of Sept. 18, 2015, only 839 of the targeted 14,631 permanent shelter units have been completed, and most of them were funded by non-government organizations.

"Many of you are still waiting for their concern and assistance. It's about time for 'Gobyernong may Puso' which can feel what you are going through," said Poe, who vowed that her government would give priority to helping Filipinos who have long been left behind.

Poe, who topped the 2013 senatorial race with 344,016 votes from Leyte, said politics should never play a role in preventing and addressing the impact of a calamity.

"We must have learned that politics should not prevail especially in times of calamities and accidents," Poe said.

Super Typhoon Yolanda, which made landfall in the Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013, killed 6,300 people and displaced more than 1.4 million families, many of them in Eastern Visayas.

As of Dec. 31, 2015, the government has only managed to complete 30 percent of the rehabilitation and reconstruction projects in Yolanda-hit communities nationwide, the National Economic and Development Authority reported. Another 33 percent will be finished this year, as per government target.

Source: thestandard

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