• 67 hectares identified as resettlement sites for Yolanda survivors

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    The National Housing Authority (NHA) has identified almost 70 hectares of land that can be developed as resettlement sites for survivors of super typhoon “Yolanda” that ravaged Eastern Visayas in November last year.

    In his report to Vice President Jejomar Binay, NHA General Manager Chito Cruz said the agency has identified 67 hectares of national and government lands on which they can build 8,433 housing units.

    Binay said NHA, the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and other concerned agencies are fast-tracking the identification of government lands for the resettlement of the displaced families.

    He added that NHA and HUDCC, in coordination with Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson, are working vigorously to provide disaster-resilient permanent homes to the survivors of Yolanda.

    “Our mandate is to build disaster-resilient homes for families living in unsafe areas in the 171 cities and municipalities along the 50-kilometer typhoon path,” Binay said.

    “However, the availability of suitable land remains to be a concern in our permanent housing program for Yolanda victims,” he added.

    As chief of the government housing sector, the Vice President heads the Yolanda Resettlement Cluster.

    Binay said land development and housing construction are already being undertaken in some areas. The houses being constructed can withstand 250 kilometers per hour winds, in accordance with the specifications of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

    “About 2,950 of these units are under construction – 1,193 in Tacloban City, 366 in Tanauan and 200 in Palo, all in Leyte; 896 in Roxas City, Capiz, and 295 in Dumangas, Iloilo,” he said.

    These projects are being developed in partnership with GMA Kapuso Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and Gawad Kalinga.

    The NHA funds and undertakes land development while the NGOs build houses, with NHA augmenting funding requirement whenever necessary.

    Earlier, Binay called for stronger cooperation between and among government agencies, the private sector and NGOs to fast-track the provision of permanent housing units to the Yolanda-affected families.

    PNA

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