TACLOBAN CITY – The Regional Development Council (RDC) in Eastern Visayas on Wednesday (August 11) reported that some 29,422 housing units for victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda are already occupied while 11,266 are ready for occupancy out of the 64,696 target units.
“The remaining 1,279 units still lack electricity and water supply and are not yet ready to be occupied,” the RDC regional project monitoring committee stated in a report posted on the website of the National Economic Development Authority in Eastern Visayas.
After more than seven years, challenges remain in the completion of the post-Yolanda housing projects, according to the region’s highest policymaking body.
“These include delays due to unfavorable weather conditions, lack of manpower and resources deployed on-site, additional works to suit actual field conditions, delayed issuances of permits and licenses from the local governments and other agencies, among many others,” the RDC added.
The council also reported that the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) recorded a 96 percent completion on the Tacloban North Water Supply Project. The system is designed to bring a stable water supply to 21 resettlement sites.
For other resettlement sites in the region, the LWUA reported that 13 projects were completed, 20 are ongoing, 56 are in the pre-construction stage, while two were suspended.
“This was due to a dispute on the ownership of the spring source. Per LWUA, the concerned water districts are negotiating for a new site of their spring water source,” the council added, referring to the suspended water project.
Meanwhile, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) has completed 57 of the 155 electrification projects for the original Yolanda housing project.
Some 42 sites are for identification of the developer, 44 sites have tapping points energized, and 12 are for bidding or construction.
The NEA is in close coordination with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF)-Yolanda Project Monitoring Office and the NHA (National Housing Authority) to secure the list of awarded beneficiaries for the NHA housing projects, according to the RDC committee.
“The NHA, LWUA, and NEA assured the RDC that they are acting to address the issues they are facing in the completion of the housing units, in coordination with IATF-Yolanda and other concerned entities,” the RDC reported.
“Yolanda,” said to be the strongest typhoon in world history, struck the central Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013 and wreaked havoc on 175 cities and towns in 14 provinces in six regions. The disaster killed more than 6,000 people.
The total damage cost and losses in affected areas reached P101.79 billion, of which P48.79 billion were recorded in Eastern Visayas.