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Senate inquiry on progress of ‘Yolanda’ shelter construction sought 

A member of the Senate is seeking a legislative inquiry on the progress of shelter construction for victims of super typhoon Yolanda nearly three years after it devastated parts of the country.

Senator JV Ejercito has filed Resolution 183 on October 3 directing the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the Yolanda rehabilitation and reconstruction program of the government.

Ejercito said the investigation seeks to determine laws for an “effective and efficient housing programs for victims of disasters.”

In his resolution, the senator said many of the Yolanda victims are still living in bunk houses, and that “normalcy in Yolanda-stricken areas is still 'beyond arms length' despite the efforts undertaken by the government, and civil society and international organizations."

Citing data from the National Housing Authority (NHA), he said the rate of construction for the Yolanda resettlement project is only 12.66 percent.

He said that as of June 30 this year, out of the 205,128 target housing units, only 25,967 were completed, 15,498 were partially completed, 130,568 were under construction and 33,095 have yet to be constructed.

Out of the completed units, only 2,287 housing units have been turned over to the victims.

“At this pace, the NHA will need more or less fourteen years in order to finish the 205,128 target housing units causing extended agony of the victims,” Ejercito said.

“The survivors of the Typhoon Yolanda had suffered so much, they deserve the assistance of the government in rebuilding not only the lost infrastructures and homes, but most significantly, their lives,” he added.

Ejercito pointed out that the Department of Budget and Management has only released P4.8 billion of the P25 billion allocated by the government for housing units due to the “slow” implementation by the NHA. —KBK, GMA News