The Philippine Star
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will release an additional P8 billion to the National Housing Authority (NHA) for the construction of permanent housing units for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.
The DBM had released P11 billion for the same purpose as announced by presidential assistant for rehabilitation and recovery Panfilo Lacson last week.
The P8 billion that was sourced from the 2014 Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program brought to P19 billion the total amount released for the housing needs of Yolanda victims.
“Ultimately, our goal is to restore normalcy in these communities and improve their resiliency to disasters. This release will not just allow the NHA to provide shelter to Yolanda survivors,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.
“It will also ensure that the affected families will have quality, permanent housing that will enable them to weather future disasters,” he added.
The NHA made the request for funds after assessing the housing requirements of the different areas affected by Yolanda. The total requested amount of P19 billion would be used to construct a total of 64,982 houses.
The amount is divided as follows: Region IV-B (Palawan), P207 million; Region V (Masbate), P29.9 million; Region VI (Capiz, Antique, Iloilo, Aklan, Negros Occidental), P7.14 billion; Region VII (Cebu), P1.84 billion; Region VIII (Eastern Samar, Biliran, Leyte), P9.78 billion.
“But more than just building permanent housing for the Yolanda victims, the government is implementing the ‘build back better’ strategy to rebuild communities in safer areas rather than in the danger zones where they were first located,” Abad said.
Under the strategy, the government will target stronger infrastructure and better opportunities for economic growth in the newly built or rebuilt communities, from properly repaired roads that can transport goods from farms to markets, to the reconstruction of classrooms.