cart26It is a do-it-yourself thing that prevails these days in the society distressed by a horrifying catastrophe called supertyphoon Yolanda. The principle of self-help has become more of an imperative rather than a last ditch recourse for self-preservation. This is effectively felt and visibly observed in areas where the storm surge that rushed through the mainland about a kilometre from the shoreline and major waterways.
Though fearful yet of the tsunami-like torrents, quite a number of affected households continually rebuilt their abodes in same location in spite of the no-dwelling or no-build zone markers put up by authorities, such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. As if held at bay by the delay in the relocation of those within these no-dwelling zones, the original dwellers have decided to remain near the “danger zone”. They seemed to be helpless with no permanent relocation to go in the face of the government advisory or prohibition to stay longer in their original abodes proximate to the shores and riverbanks.
While at first these dwellers were not many, the inaction of local authorities apparently tolerated them to mushroom persistently. The DENR office in Eastern Visayas has at the outset stayed itself away from blame on this sprouting frenzy despite of being at the forefront in erecting no-build zone posts in concerned vicinities. The DENR-RO8’s role in this regard is simply to do conduct the survey and establish the mark as well as put up the marker according to Regional Technical Director Ramon Unay. For now, the DENR-RO8 is targeting to cover in the marking the shorelines of Leyte island from Tacloban to Tolosa about 93 kilometers, Marabut and Basey in Samar about 57 kilometers, and 192 kilometers of Eastern Samar.
The DENR stressed that the local government unit, through its assessor’s office, will be the institution that will release the certification as to what areas are within the no-dwelling or no-build zone, and not this agency. In the same breadth, it is the LGU that has the power to restrain dwellers to reconstruct their homes in these zones and not the DENR. With a political will so lax, the mushrooming is an expected occurrence. Only the LGU that gives priority to this concern that could effectively stop the residents from rebuilding their homes in areas fit only for reforestation per Presidential Decree No. 1076.
As of now, the Tacloban City government has enumerated the residents subject for transfer to permanent relocation in northern barangay such as New Kawayan in 2016. This brings hope and flesh to the rhetoric of creating a buffer zone along the coastline communities to stave off high waters that another strong typhoon could produce.