Cabinet Secretary Alexei Carlo Nograles(center) vows that all housing projects intended for families who lost their homes in the wake of Super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ six years ago will be completed by 2020. Nograles visited a housing project in Carigara,Leyte on Thursday (Sept.19)to conduct an inspection as he was joined by local officials led by Mayor Eduardo Ong, Sr.(left)

CARIGARA, Leyte- The national government will make sure that the housing units intended for families who lost their houses due to super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ will be completed by next year.
This was stressed by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles who visited Leyte on Thursday (Sept.19) for the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) and a deed of donation and acceptance (DODA) for 13 Yolanda housing projects in Leyte, Samar and Biliran provinces.
“Our target is by the end of 2019, all Yolanda housing(projects) must be completed but realistically we cannot do that because 2019 is about to end. So our target now is to complete all housing projects by 2020 not only in Region 8 but also in Regions 5, 6, 7 and 4-B,” Nograles said who visited one of the housing projects located in this town.
The national government through the National Housing Authority (NHA) aims to construct a total of 205,128 housing units along the Yolanda corridor.
A total of 56, 140 of these housing units are for Yolanda victims in Eastern Visayas.
“I am happy that based on the data of NHA, in Region 8 housing project completion is now at almost 80 percent,” Nograles said.
The official said that the NHA is now keeping up its pace and fast tracking the construction of all housing projects for Yolanda survivors in four provinces of the region that were devastated by the super typhoon in November 8, 2013.
Nograles added that finishing the projects by 2020 is not only their target but also to make sure that the order of President Rodrigo Duterte will be followed of building a township and not just housing structures.
“Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) must fast track the water system project, National Electrification Administration must also fast track the energization of Yolanda housing communities and we will also ensure that there are schools from the Department of Education, health centers from the Department of Health and day care centers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development in every housing site,” Nograles said.
Nograles added that they are imposing strict compliance on the specification for the contractors who are building the Yolanda housing projects to avoid that they are using substandard materials.
He added that aside from ensuring that contractors are following the construction materials specification, their office is also determine to award all housing projects that are finished.
“We want to avoid cases of having a damaged house from a finished housing project because there are no occupants. That is unfair to the contractors who turn over the units to the NHA in good quality,” Nograles said.
During the signing of MOA and DODA, mayors and representative from the local government unit of this town and Baybay City, Almeria, Naval, Cabucgayan and Biliran, all in Biliran province, were present.
A ceremonial turn-over for the beneficiaries of housing projects in Carigara for Yolanda victims and Almeria for typhoon ‘Urduja’ victims was also held.
The beneficiaries of housing units in Carigara are living in the 5.62 hectares Ecoville 1 that has 640 housing units occupied by all beneficiaries and the 4.91 hectares Ecoville 2 that has 680 housing units with 489 units are now occupied.
Couple Antonietta and Mariano Jabines Jr. said that they are thankful that after four years of waiting for assistance from the government, they can now transfer to a more comfortable house.
The couple said that they have applied for a housing unit built by different non-government organizations after Yolanda destroyed their two-storey house in Barangay Bislig but to no avail.
“Maybe we are really intended to live here,” said Antonietta, 49, who plans to immediately transfer to their new house once it was awarded to them by the government.
“It’s more comfortable here.We already have electricity and water connection, unlike in Bislig where we still have to travel to the town proper to buy water,” she added.
Urduja victim Nilda Ybañez of Almeria represented the 27 families who are beneficiaries of housing project from the NHA.
“In behalf of the housing beneficiaries from Almeria, we are very happy to the assistance of free housing that government thru the NHA and Pres. Duterte gave us,” Ybañez.
“We assure you that we will follow all rules and regulation and to maintain peace and order for a harmonious relationship within the community once these units are awarded to us,” she added.
Ybañez also appealed for the government to also fast track the water connection in all housing projects aside from making sure that their houses will be completed on time.
Aside from housing units for typhoon Urduja victims the NHA had also constructed housing project for typhoon Yolanda victims in the towns of Cabucgayan (258 housing units), Naval (800 units) and Biliran (392 units).