TACLOBAN City Mayor Alfred Romualdez welcomed on Thursday the recommendation of former senator and now rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson to give funds directly to local government units (LGUs) for the construction of permanent shelters for Yolanda survivors.
Romualdez said Lacson’s idea could immediately address the much-delayed problem of permanent shelters for thousands of Yolanda survivors, many of whom live in congested tent cities, evacuation centers and danger zones.
However, he emphasized that if the national government fails to act on Lacson’s suggestion, “it would be better if [the funds are released]to the National Housing Authority [NHA].”
“If they do not want to heed Lacson’s recommendation, the national government can give the funds to the NHA to purchase lands for the construction of permanent homes. We will support this all the way to alleviate the sad plight of Yolanda survivors,” Romualdez said.
Political issues between the Romualdez family and the Aquino clan transpired a few days after Yolanda flattened many communities in
Eastern Visayas. This affected rehabilitation efforts.
Fortunately, Romualdez said the Tacloban LGU has already set aside political issues to focus on the welfare of survivors who are suffering to this day.
“All we want are permanent shelters for survivors because they have been neglected and suffering a lot despite the much-publicized huge foreign donations pouring in here. There is no truth to the rumor that huge funds from the international community have reached us,” he said.
Recently, Lacson said major reconstruction in Yolanda-hit areas would begin by June this year as indicated by the master plan prepared on the post disaster needs assessment conducted by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
Lacson said the NHA is set to construct 214,000 housing units before President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s term ends in 2016. About 34,000 of these units will be built in Yolanda-ravaged areas this year.