• DBM released additional P239-M to NHA for housing aid of Yolanda victims

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    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released an additional P238.6 million fund to the National Housing Authority (NHA) for housing aid for Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) victims.

    Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said that the fund would go directly to NHA’s Emergency Housing Assistance for Calamity Victims program (EHACVP)

    The DBM explained that the million-peso fund was sourced from the Budgetary Support to Government Corp. under the 2013 national budget, and that it was only a part of the P350-million total rollout of funds for EHACVP to provide permanent housing needs of the poor and marginalized affected families of typhoons, landslides, earthquakes and fires

    “We’re facilitating the prompt release of funds that will aid our recovery efforts, especially with respect to providing secure shelter to low-income families and informal settlers who cannot otherwise afford rebuilding their own homes,” Abad said.

    Under the program, beneficiaries would be relocated permanently to “safe areas,” and the housing component of the program would provide P5,000 worth of housing materials to every families whose home were “partially damaged…but will not require resettlement.”

    “Rehabilitation activities for Yolanda-hit communities are in full swing, as the Aquino administration continues to coordinate with aid groups, civil society, and affected [local government units]in restoring normalcy in all typhoon-stricken areas,” Abad said.

    The P350-million release would not only aid the victims of Yolanda, but also to other typhoons like Typhoon Santi, Vinta, Labuyo, Quinta and Pablo, as well as other disaster-stricken households like fires and earthquakes.

    Despite the P5,000 housing provision under the housing segment of the program, the DBM said that the Typhoon Santi victims would only receive P2,000 for repairs as mostly were roof damages as per NHA report.

    “We’re also poised to bring immediate aid and recovery assistance in the form of key social services, including the resumption of health and education services, as well as the provision of other public services that calamities like Yolanda temporarily cut off,” the budget chief said, noting that there are other areas in which the government invests in aside from housing projects for typhoon victims.

    “The Aquino administration is prepared to complete the arduous but necessary work of rebuilding all communities affected by disasters and calamities,” Abad added. KRISTYN NIKA M. LAZO

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