UNITED Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer and Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday vowed to deliver 190,000 houses for victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda, who have been ranting against the present administration’s failure to improve their plight.
“Sisiguruhin kong matapos lahat ng housing projects para sa Yolanda victims sa loob ng unang taon ng aking administrasyon [I will make sure that all housing projects for Yolanda victims will be finished within the first year of my administration],” Binay said.
Citing government records, Binay claimed the housing requirement for 14 provinces affected by the calamity in the Visayas reached 205,128 units.
Of these, only 17,641 units had been built as of October 2015. Government expects to build another 92,554 units by the end of the current year.
Such “ineptness,” according to Binay, is “unacceptable” considering the huge number of people who have yet to have a house of their own since Yolanda struck in November 2013.
“Hindi po katanggap-tanggap na may mga biktimang maghihintay pa ng ilang taon bago lamang magkaroon ng pabahay. Tatapusin na po natin ang kanilang daing [It is not acceptable that there are victims of Yolanda who have been waiting for years just to have their homes. We will address their pleas],” stressed Binay.
“Uutusan ko po ang lahat ng mga government agencies na kasama sa housing program na ayusin ang mga problema at madaliin ang konstruksyon ng mga bahay [We will order all government agencies concerned with the housing program to address the problem and accelerate the construction of the housing units],” he added.
Binay also vowed that there will be no delays in the release of calamity funds to aid calamity victims.
He issued the statement after the Department of Budget and Management announced the release of P2.25 billion for Bottom Up Budgeting projects in the Eastern Visayas only a month before the 2016 national elections.
He said that unlike this malpractice, calamity and rehabilitation funds for affected areas would not have to be delayed for a long time. He said the victims became victims twice over when such funds were delayed.
Binay added that poverty can easily worsen in a calamity-hit area if the government will not immediately address the problems caused by calamities.
The vice president noted that the poverty incidence in Eastern Visayas worsened to 54.9 percent during the first half of 2014 following the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda. It was 45.2 percent in 2012.
JOEL SY EGCO