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By Gerico Sabalza, PNA
TACLOBAN CITY – A total of 12,508 additional housing units for Super Typhoon Yolanda victims will rise in Eastern Visayas, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexie Nograles said on Friday.
In a virtual press conference, Nograles, who heads the Task Force Yolanda, said they target to complete these projects before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends on June 30, 2022.
“This is one of the reasons why the President has extended the term of the task force, which expired in August,” he said.
The recipients of the additional housing projects are Tacloban City, the regional capital, and the towns of Tolosa, Burauen, Tanauan, Barugo, Capoocan, Dagami, Dulag, Leyte, Villaba, and Javier all in Leyte; Biliran and Kawayan, both in Biliran; and the towns of Zumarraga, Talalora, and Daram.
Nograles said the national government has allocated PHP7.4 billion for the construction of additional 20,615 housing units requested by local government units, of which 8,107 will rise in Western Visayas.
The project is in addition to the 52,985 Yolanda houses targeted for construction in the region, of which 36,116 have been completed and 25,293 have been awarded to beneficiaries as of mid-2020, according to the regional development council.
He said they target to complete all housing projects along the Yolanda corridor as soon as possible and immediately award completed units to beneficiaries.
As of October 25, the National Housing Authority has completed 135,189 housing units while some 32,222 units are under construction, he added.
Among the municipalities in the region with 100 percent completed housing projects are Babatngon, Tanauan, MacArthur, Mayorga, Inopacan, and the cities of Baybay and Ormoc; the towns of MacArthur, Lawaan, and Mercedes in Eastern Samar, and Almeria and Caibiran towns in Biliran.
“We want to finish them fast. We have conducted a series of virtual turnover ceremonies for the past months and more will be awarded this December, particularly in Eastern Visayas,” Nograles said.
He added that the task force also conducts a monthly meeting to monitor the accomplishments of the Local Water Utilities Administration and National Electrification Administration in ensuring that each resettlement site has a proper water system and electricity.
“Yolanda”, said to be the strongest typhoon in world history, struck the central Philippines and wreaked havoc on 175 cities and towns in 14 provinces in six regions.
The total damage cost and losses in “Yolanda”-affected areas reached PHP101.79 billion, of which PHP48. 79 billion came from Eastern Visayas. (PNA)