TACLOBAN CITY— Vice Mayor Jerry “Sambo” Yaokasin of this city expressed his disappointment on the non enforcement of the “no build zone” policy of the government.
The policy restricts residents to live or build houses within the 40 meter from the coastlines. The policy was introduced after supertyphoon Yolanda generated storm surges that resulted for thousands of houses to be destroyed or washed inland.
Despite of the signages on this policy placed in areas identified, houses were seen to have sprouted.
It was learned from Yaokasin said that members of the council came into agreement that should the master plan for rehabilitation of the city comes out, this no build zone policy would be reviewed by them.
Still the vice mayor said that should the master plan came into effect, the affected residents should relocate to the resettlement sites identified under the master plan drawn by the city government with the help of the UN Habitat.
Yaokasin said that the plan need some changes like three meters should be observed for urban areas; 20 meters for agriculture area and the 40 meter policy should only be applied in forested areas.
“But the government’s geo-hazard mapping that points Tacloban as risk area should also be considered. That is why it is to be studied well if such measurements still apply is this kind of situation,” Yaokasin stressed.
But for the meantime that the city government is still waiting for the master rehabilitation plan, it will stick to the 40-meter rule and will not add any exemptions as of yet, the vice mayor added.
Yaokasin thus advised residents living in the no build zones to coordinate first to the newly-created City Housing Unit before constructing any permanent structures.
Meanwhile, the vice mayor also talked about the housing projects being pushed by the city government in the northern part of Tacloban.
Yaokasin said that the beneficiaries need not worry because it is to be distributed in “sweat equity” scheme, which means that residents have to help in its construction to avail the program.
“We are thinking of 6 months to 1 year for completion of 10 thousand housing units and this is going to narrow the housing backlog in the city by half. All they have to do is approach the City Housing Office and see if they will qualify and (as for) payment, we have to do sweat equity or bayanihan system,” Yaokasin further added. (Regin Olimberio/PR)