'Slow' turnover of houses impedes Yolanda rehab

Slow rehabilitation has left thousands of families still homeless after 'Yolanda'

The slow turn-over of houses to the benefactors, which led thousand homeless families to seek shelter in danger zones. Currently, there are more than 8,000 families in Tacloban still waiting to be relocated to permanent shelters in the city, away from danger zones.

National Housing Authority General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr. reported that out of the  205,128 units needed to be constructed, only 48,950 units were completed, and only 13,997 units have been occupied. Of the total bidded units, 69, 768 are now being developed, 29,540 are waiting for the issuance of notice for the construction to proceed; and only 48,950 have been completed.

One of the cited reasons behind the slow turnover of houses is due to the delayed issuance of occupants permit on the local level. However, according to Tacloban City Mayor Cristina Romualdez, developers are need to comply with the requirements of the building code before LGUs can release the permits. In the case of Tacloban City, temporary permits were given as jump start and to speed up the process of transfer.
Dir. Nora Diaz of the Policy Development Group of Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) on the other hand raised the difficulty of finding suitable land for building of resettlement houses, which impedes the process of construction.

Meanwhile, to mitigate such problems in the future, Committee Chair Sen. JV Ejercito suggested the setting up of a permanent disaster agency -- one that can be attached to the proposed Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development. Sen. Ejercito said such an agency could help reduce the cycle of disaster damage and lessen the impact on our human and financial resources, and help the government to be more effective in disaster mitigation, addressing emergency situations and providing immediate evacuation, shelter, housing and community rehabilitation.

Photo courtesy of www.gov.ph

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