• ‘Yolanda’ survivors living in bunkhouses face eviction

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    At least 455 Yolanda survivors from 27 bunkhouse units on the diversion road in Tacloban City, Leyte province are worrying of their possible eviction by June 30, 2014 as the land used for the temporary shelters is owned by a private company.

    In a white tarpaulin posted outside the bunkhouse area, the R. International Pharmaceuticals Inc. (IPI) announced that the company allowed the local government unit (LGU) to use the property for the temporary shelters for Yolanda survivors only until June 30, 2014.

    The company clarified that the property shall not be used as “permanent relocation site or resettlement unit” for the survivors.

    However, IPI explained that they provided the lot for the LGU “for the humanitarian consideration and to help the city of Tacloban” as covered by the TCT No. 8417 and 8411.

    One of the survivors, who earlier transferred to the bunkhouses, Anita Santos, 63, from Brgy. 88 San Jose, said that the possibility of being relocated had caused worries for her as she is unsure if there was already an identified permanent relocation site.

    “A lawyer from the owner of this land came here earlier. She told us that they will provide relief goods, pump boats for fishing and other source of income so we can start, but we want still to be assured that we will be housed for a longer period of time,” Santos said in the vernacular.

    However she clarified that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has assured them assistance in case they will be relocated.

    Meantime, a group of women who refused to be identified said that they will not leave the bunkhouses even beyond June 30, unless the Tacloban City government will provide “a better relocation site.”

    They urged Tacloban officials to provide permanent shelters for them, saying that the temporarily shelter they were allotted were “too small and uninhabitable.”

    Some residents of Brgy. 88 were housed at the temporary shelters.

    “What if bunkhouses are not yet done? Are they already the permanent houses? Where will we go, since we are no longer allowed to construct our houses at the no build zone?” they asked.

    Based on the data obtained, there were 27 bunkhouse units with 24 rooms or a total of 640 rooms on the diversion road alone. The bunkhouses have 44 bathing cubicles and five cooking centers.

    The bunkhouses have accommodated 129 families or 455 persons.

    Meanwhile, Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez assured the owner of the land that the bunkhouses built on diversion road were not permanent.

    He said that they will appeal if they ask for an extension “maybe maximum a year” for them to finish the site development for permanent homes.

    “Basta ang ina-assure ko hindi ito magiging permanent, iyon naman ang assurance doon,” Romualdez said.

    Further he assured the residents of Brgy. 88 that they will be prioritized for permanent housing, which will soon be constructed.

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