TACLOBAN CITY- Mayor Alfred Romualdez of this Supertyphoon Yolanda-ravaged city expressed his gratitude to the various international humanitarian groups and to the national government which helped the people of the city during the massive disaster that occurred six months ago. Romualdez made his appreciation last May 6 before members of media during which he presented his master plan on the recovery effort of his administration for Tacloban, considered the ground zero of Yolanda. “I thank the different countries, international groups for coming; who risk their lives and sacrifice to work here. We greatly appreciate it,” Romualdez said. Romualdez also said that it is the people who should be the better judge if the national government is helping enough the people of Tacloban during this crisis. “Do I feel I’m being abandoned? You know I feel that there is a big problem and we have to address it. When it comes to those being abandoned, I think ang pinaka-maganda dun let us ask the people. Let them be the one to judge, not me. All I am saying is that… here is our problem; we need all the help we can get,” Romualdez said. But Romualdez said that whatever possible shortcomings of the national government in extending assistance to Tacloban, it’s because that there are still other areas affected by Yolanda. “So let’s give enough slack to the national government to now get all these resources together, plan it properly and let’s just make it properly. That is how I see it. I don’t want the people to lose focus,” he said. Romualdez had earlier chided the national government for not helping enough Tacloban during the disaster. Aside from the food packs and the bunk houses intended for those who totally lost their houses, the national government did not give enough to Tacloban, city officials claimed. During his recent visit, Local Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, whom Romualdez had earlier engaged in a word war, personally handed the former a check worth P240 million intended for the repair of public buildings destroyed during the typhoon. Romualdez said that while he acknowledges the financial assistance, its purpose should have been focused for the construction of permanent shelters for those who lost their homes. About 30,513 houses were totally destroyed during the typhoon while another 27,718 houses sustained damages. In the absence of the permanent homes, about 2,228 families are either living in bunk houses, tents or at the evacuation centers which are mostly public schools, records of the Mayor’s Office revealed. Mayor Romualdez said under the Tacloban Recovery and Rehabilitation Plan (TRRP), the city needs at least P3 billion of which around P2 billion would be needed to relocate these families to the resettlement area identified by the city government. The resettlement area, dubbed by the mayor as “new township,” is located in the barangays of Sto. Nino, New Kawayan, Tagpuro and Palanog, covering more than 70 hectares. The city government plans to construct 10,191 houses with each unit estimated to cost P220, 000 or total amount of P2.2 billion. Of the 10,191 housing units planned to be constructed in the resettlement area, about 1,000 of them were committed by various groups like Gawad Kalinga,GMA Kapuso Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and Philippine Red Cross, among others. Some of these houses were started last January and expected to be finished by next month.