TACLOBAN CITY- – Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman highlighted the need for sturdier, more dependable housing units for Yolanda-affected families of Tacloban. This statement came after Soliman inspected a number of the bunk houses. The development is meant to serve as a temporary shelter especially for those families who are within the “no build zones”, according to the new government policy that aims to safeguard those who are in the 40-meter danger area along the shorelines.
Soliman stressed out that the bunk houses are estimated to last 3 to 5 years and therefore a need exists for “permanent” housing solution when this timetable lapses. The official also noted that these bunk houses are still just a small part of the immediate response mechanism put in place by the DSWD not the “long term” solution for the displaced.
DSWD is optimistic about the project lead by the city government of Tacloban to secure more than 70 hectares of land in the northern district. An area that will now become the permanent settlement for displaced families. The proposed involve single-detached units with 20 square meters of floors space. Soliman hopes that these housing units will be available in time for the closing of the bunk houses.
Shelter is not the only concern, DSWD is looking into other services like security, camp management, food production and livelihood for families are issues also being considered. DSWD has arranged for Tesda to provide livelihood trainings to respective communities.
“Kompleto po na tinitingnan ng gobyerno ang mga concerns sa bunk houses, pinakaimportante dito yung livelihood dahil kailangan naman na kumita at mabuhay yung mga beneficiary natin; so definitely we are providing a total package for them to fully recover after Yolanda,” Soliman stressed.
Meanwhile in an interview with city information officer, Bernardita Valenzuela, the official announced about 30 barangays in Tacloban have “no build zone” areas; with 13,244 families affected. This situation prompted the city government to push its Comprehensive Community Development Partnership Program and actively look for donors to finance the mass housing project.
Currently, more than 6,500 houses and community facilities are being funded by the aforementioned program with the Philippine National Red Cross donating 5,000 units. Other organizations involved include Habitat for Humanity, GMA foundation, SOS Children’s Village Tacloban, Inc., Kimse Yokmu and Zonta.

(Regin Olimberio, Communitere)