TACLOBAN CITY — At least eight major concerns related to resettlement have been raised by super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ survivors in Leyte and Samar provinces during the grassroots consultations initiated by the Office of the President.
These issues are defective housing units, location of houses vulnerable to flooding and landslides, lack of water, no electricity connection, non-availability of sustainable livelihood, no police visibility, poor drainage system, and lack of government facilities.
For the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the agency tasked to supervise rehabilitation projects after the 2013 catastrophe, these issues are not new, however, after the dialogues, concerned agencies came up with agreements to curb the problem.
“A lot of issues are recurring, but with the intervention of the Office of the President, we are expecting that these will be properly addressed,” said NEDA Regional Director Bonifacio Uy.
Presidential Assistant Wendel Avisado, the official assigned by President Rodrigo Duterte to oversee post-Yolanda rehabilitation efforts, led the grassroots consultations from March 19 to April 27, 2018.
Dialogues have been held in Tacloban City; Guiuan, Eastern Samar; Balangiga, Eastern Samar; Basey, Samar; Carigara, Leyte; Isabel, Leyte; Naval, Biliran; and Silago, Southern Leyte.
For instance, on substandard houses, Avisado asked beneficiaries to list specific defects of houses and submit to the National Housing Authority (NHA).
The official ordered NHA to convey the concerns to developer for “immediate rectification.”
NEDA-Eastern Visayas gave a copy of the issues and suggestions to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday.
On lack of facilities such as schools and health centers, this concern will be addressed by the inter-agency committee both in the national and local levels.
On water supply shortage, Avisado asked the Department of Public Works and Highways to add the volume of water delivery, the same list showed.
For long-term solution, local governments were told to link with Local Water Utilities Authority for implementation of water supply projects.
The consultation gathered issues and concerns encountered by survivors in resettlement sites and convene various government instrumentalities to identify interventions that will ensure sustainability of resettlement projects and improve their quality of life.
Each consultation was attended by 120 participants composed of beneficiaries of resettlement projects, local and national government officials, and representatives of civil society organizations.
On November 8, 2013, super typhoon Yolanda unleashed its wrath in central Philippines, killing around 6,300 people and leaving more than 4.4 million people displaced and homeless.
Tacloban City, the regional hub of Eastern Visayas region, was considered as “Yolanda’s” ground zero.