TACLOBAN CITY – The government has moved 280 families from danger zones to permanent relocation sites on Monday (November 28) in an effort to beat the timeline for mass transfer of Yolanda-hit families within the year.
Government trucks and buses moved hundreds of families from coastal San Jose District near the city’s airport to North Hill Arbours housing site in Barangay Sto. Niño.
“We will try our best to fast track the transfer before the end of December. President Rodrigo Duterte felt so bad that after three years many families are still living in shanties,” said Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino.
During his visit to this city on Nov. 8, Mr. Duterte has expressed dissatisfaction over slow housing development project for super typhoon Yolanda survivors, prompting him to order concerned agencies to make significant improvement within a month.
He vowed to return this December to check if the families have been relocated to their permanent shelters.
On Sunday night, the Leyte II Electric Cooperative initially completed the power supply project to the new relocation site with 1,100 units built by the National Housing Authority.
As a “stop gap” measure for the water needs, Dino asked the Department of Public Works and Highways, Leyte Metropolitan Water District, and Bureau of Fire Protection to deliver water and set up tanks at relocation sites.
The Local Water Utilities Authority said it will complete the long term water supply project late next year.
Vallacar Transit, Inc., the largest public land transportation company in Negros Island has lent their six Ceres Liner buses to the government for the use of relocated families.
“The buses will stay for six months to ensure that the students can go to school and occupants whose job is in the city, can go to work,” Dino said.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has asked distributors to deliver stocks to store owners in the new resettlement sites.
“Those who own stores in their old community can continue doing business here before the establishment of big retail shops and better transport system,” said Ma. Delia Corsiga, chief of the DTI regional business development division.
This is on top of the upcoming livelihood support program of P5,000 each for 1,102 identified families in the city.
City Mayor Cristina Gonzales Romualdez said the city government target to transfer at least 200 families every week to their respective relocation sites starting Nov. 28 until January next year.
The National Housing Authority (NHA) reported that out of the 14,631 houses targeted for construction in this city alone, 7,148 have been completed so far, but only 2,101 units have been occupied as of last week.
Out of the 14,631 targeted units, 13,062 are NHA projects and 1,569 units by eight non-government organizations. (SARWELL Q.MENIANO)