4 years after ‘Yolanda’, victims still homeless





November 8, 2017
By TARA YAP, Charissa M. Luci-Atienza

ILOILO CITY – Four years after super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the housing project for typhoon survivors in Antique province seems far from being completed.

Fr. Jose Elmer Cajilig, Western Visayas convenor of Kilusang Pagbabago (KP), said his group received complaints from residents of Bugasong and Pandan towns.

A pro-Duterte group, KP went to Bugasong and found that the housing project of the National Housing Authority (NHA) remains unfinished and that survivors are yet to be told of any concrete date for them to occupy the 1,787 housing units.

Residents outside the unfinished housing project said their homes are flooded every time there is heavy rainfall.

Residents claimed this only happened after EDDMARI Construction bulldozed the forested portion of Lacayon village and reclaimed four creeks for the Yolanda housing project.

In Pandan town, residents complained that another housing project has destroyed tracts of farmland. Michele Placio, a school teacher said that while the houses were not built yet, pre-development works are underway.

Residents have signed petitions and have brought their complaints to agencies such as Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Pandan Mayor Jonathan Tan, but no action has been taken.

Meanwhile, Cajilig vowed to bring the concern to the Office of the Participatory Governance under Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr.

Meantime, Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez is counting on the Duterte government to run after those behind the purported subhuman and substandard Yolanda housing projects.

Romualdez thanked Duterte for his commitment to “hold accountable the parties involved in the anomalies” uncovered by the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development chaired by Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez.

Romualdez vowed to provide permanent homes and livelihood opportunities to Yolanda survivors, lamenting that only 23, 414 units or 11.4 percent are being occupied and only 67, 754 units or 33 percent were actually constructed, , out of the projected 205, 128 housing units under the government’s resettlement and housing program.

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