Tacloban City Councilor Aimee Grafil witnessed the transfer to their permanent shelters 71 families who for almost a year now, lived at temporary shelters after their houses in Brgy. 88, San Jose District, were washed out due to supertyphoon ‘Yolanda.’

TACLOBAN CITY- Anita Sanillo never thought that she would be living in a house made of concrete and study materials.
But on Friday, the 63-year old together with her husband Benito, 62, took possession of a house that they only dreamt in the past.
The elderly couple was among the 71 families who lost their houses due to supertyphoon ‘Yolanda’ but were relocated to their permanent shelters at Villa Diana in Barangay New Kawayan Friday (Oct.7).
“This house is beautiful! We never thought that we will have this kind of house! Yolanda was not, after all disaster but was also partly a blessing for us,” Sanillo said.
As part of a tradition, she had a blessing at her new house which has a 22 square meter floor area. She offered foods and uncooked rice at the hastily-made altar where the image of Santo Niño was placed.
The 71 families, who were originally residents of Barangay 88 in San Jose, previously settled in a temporary community located just nearby their new homes in Villa Diana.
Welcoming the families were City Councilor Aimee Grafil who chairs the committee on urban poor and housing and human resettlement, and officials of the National Housing Authority.
Grafil said that while the housing units still lack amenities, notably water supply, the city government under Mayor Cristina Romualdez would like to see them resettled to their permanent houses considering the onset of the rainy season.
The city government provides daily water supply to the residents while electricity is available in several occupied houses who managed to have their connection with the Leyte II Electric Cooperative.
Dorcas Secreto, NHA’s estate specialist management, said that transfer of families from various temporary shelters will continue until all the 409 units of Villa Diana are occupied.
Prior to the transfer of the 71 families on Friday, 105 families have earlier been transferred to their respective houses in Villa Diana.
The NHA has committed to relocate 14,130 families who lost their houses due to Yolanda or those who remain to live in danger zones by 2017 or 2018. (JOEY A. GABIETA)