Ten years after super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) displaced thousands of Filipinos, at least 54,000 housing units provided for the survivors remain unoccupied.
According to Chino Gaston’s report on “24 Oras” Wednesday, data from the National Housing Authority (NHA) showed that over 31% or around 54,000 of the 175,000 completed housing units were vacant as some infrastructures, specifically proper water supply, are still unavailable at the relocation sites.
Another issue: many housing sites were far from places of livelihood.
“Medyo malayo sa kanilang livelihood source. Most of these people are fisherfolk,” said NHA Office of the Corporate Secretary Officer-in-Charge Sergio Domasian.
(The houses are pretty far from their sources of livelihood. Most of them are fisherfolk.)
“’Yung water source, we asked the LGU (local government unit) for a certification whether there is a source to supply water to the project. And they issued certification that's why the project would push through, only to realize later na medyo ‘di pa available yung water source. But we are addressing this issue,” Domasian added.
(As for the water source, we asked the LGU for a certification whether there is a source to supply water to the project. And they issued certification that's why the project would push through, only to realize later the water source is not ready. But we are addressing this.)
The Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) said it provided water connections to housing units but sources for potable water supply became a challenge after the project was expanded.
“Ang ginawa natin ay binigyan natin ng pondo sa mga LGU na sila na po mismo ang magi-implement ng mga patubig sa kanilang mga respective LGUs para ang kanilang mga housing units ay magkaroon ng mga patubig,” said LWUA Administrator Vicente Homer Revil.
(What we did was to provide funding to the LGUs so they themselves could implement water connections to the housing units in their jurisdictions.)
The NHA said construction is ongoing to provide 205,000 housing units for the Yolanda victims.
Blessing for mass grave
Earlier, a blessing ceremony was held at a mass grave in Barangay Blasper in Tacloban City.
Families of the victims and some guests visited the gravesite where they offered prayers for the typhoon victims to commemorate the anniversary of their demise.
Several nuns led the blessing of what for them is an annual event.
“We consider it an obligation, being Catholics. So we also have some relatives (who were typhoon victims), we do it yearly,” said Sister Marian Larder of the Religious Sisters of Mercy.
A candle-lighting ceremony was also conducted at the Plaza Rizal, led by Tacloban mayor Alfred Romualdez.—Sundy Locus/RF, GMA Integrated News