WHILE they are scrambling to survive, victims of super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), especially those who are living in coastal areas, will be relocated to safer locations by the government.
Vice President and housing czar Jejomar Binay said that apart from the relief operations and rehabilitation of areas badly hit by the calamity, rebuilding homes of typhoon victims is also a government priority.
“The government will help survivors of typhoon Yolanda rebuild their homes or resettle to safer locations,” he added.
He said President Benigno Aquino 3rd has already instructed the National Housing Authority (NHA) to take the lead and assured the agency of sufficient funding.
“The government will provide housing for the people whose homes are totally damaged. President Aquino will ensure that there are enough funds for that,” Binay said.
The budget from President Aquino, he added, will be allocated to rebuild totally damaged houses or to build now homes in relocation sites located in safer areas.
“For houses that are partially damaged, we will give them P5,000 worth of construction materials coming from the NHA,” he said.
Binay went to Iloilo province on Wednesday to assess the damage wrought by the typhoon and determine the needs of the affected residents in the province.
He visited the towns of Estancia and Concepcion which are the two hardest-hit towns in Iloilo. He also went to Zarraga, Pototan, Barotac Nuevo and Banate.
Binay earlier said communities under the Community Mortgage Program (CMP) of the Socialized Housing and Finance Corporation (SHFC) can also avail themselves of construction materials to help rebuild their houses.
“We will also give them P5,000 worth of construction materials. Communities under the Community Mortgage Program are legally organized associations of residents in depressed areas that we helped to own the lots they occupy through mortgage financing,” Binay said.
Binay also said the Pag-IBIG Fund already deployed roving offices in affected areas to make it easier for members to avail themselves of housing assistance.
He said Pag-IBIG members may also avail themselves of a calamity loan at 5.95 percent annually, payable in two years and a three-month moratorium for those who have existing loans. The agency is also offering burial assistance to members.
“Pag-IBIG is offering a three month moratorium on loans incurred by victims of typhoon Yolanda. Pag-IBIG members can also apply for calamity loans that are payable in two years with minimal interest. For members with existing housing loans and had their homes destroyed, we will help you get insurance,” he added.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO