TACLOBAN CITY- Families whose houses were washed out during the onslaught of supertyphoon Yolanda were given the go signal by the members of the city council to construct their “temporary shelters” located within the danger zone. During their regular session held last September 17, the councilors, led by Council Neil Glova, passed a resolution allowing residents of sitio Mahusay of Barangay 88 in San Jose district to construct their houses.

The resolution stemmed from the requests of the residents of the barangay, considered the worst hit area during the onslaught of Yolanda, to allow them to build their houses on the ground that a non-government organization will help them construct their houses. Councilor Cristina Gonzales Romualdez was the lone dissenter on this proposal saying the area is considered a risk area. But Glova said that the owner of the lot where these families are to build their makeshifts already agreed adding that these families also consented that they would leave the area once they would be moved out to a permanent site. Councilor Edwin Chua also said that as part of the agreement, the families are not allowed to construct their dwellings using concrete materials considering that the nature of their stay is only temporary.

Councilor Romualdez said allowing the more than 50 families to stay in the area only exposes them to danger if a typhoon will happen again. “Their lives and their children’s lives are more important,” she stressed. Romualdez said that the area is prone to natural hazards like tsunami and storm surges that actually happened during the onslaught of Yolanda. But despite of the danger, the residents who trooped to the Legislative Building, expressed their happiness allowing them to stay in sitio Mahusay.

According to the residents, a non-government organization, Green Mindanao, will help them construct their houses. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)