Six years after super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) wreaked havoc on several parts of the Visayas, Malacañang has assured the public that the government would finish the construction of all housing units for the victims by 2020.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles over the weekend said the government would continue to give priority to the interest of the typhoon victims, saying they have “waited long enough.”
“With the turnover, we are on track to fulfilling our commitment to finish majority of the housing units by 2019, and full completion of all housing units for the entire Yolanda corridor by 2020,” Nograles added in a statement.
“The NHA (National Housing Authority) has been tasked to fast-track the construction this year,” the Palace official said.
Nograles made the assurance after the NHA completed permanent shelter units for the Yolanda victims in Tabuelan, Cebu.
The Cabinet secretary was in Cebu to witness the turnover of housing certificates to 220 housing beneficiaries in Olivo Heights.
In his speech, Nograles thanked the NHA and other concerned government agencies for their hard work in completing the housing projects for the Yolanda victims in Cebu.
He promised that the government would work for the immediate installation of facilities and implementation of livelihood programs in the area.
“We’re thankful to the efforts of all the government agencies and personnel concerned, especially the NHA. After six years of planning and hard work, we’re able to fulfill our promise of housing and livelihood to Yolanda victims in Cebu,” Nograles said.
He added that the government was committed to make a priority the completion of housing projects for the typhoon victims in other areas.
“Our success is the product of selfless cooperation and meaningful partnership. The victims of Typhoon Yolanda have waited long enough. We’re assuring them that government is prioritizing their plight,” Nograles said.
“The Duterte administration is concretely addressing their needs so they can finally move on and put the tragic memory of Yolanda behind them through tangible assistance via housing and livelihood,” he added.
On the sixth anniversary of Yolanda onslaught early this month, Malacañang declared the government would continue to build safe, adaptive and disaster-resilient communities.
The Palace recognized that natural hazards have become the new normal in the 21st century.
“We laud the exemplary resilience of our own people, which in the face of a great adversity, have remained steadfast and have moved forward,” Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
“Yolanda has likewise taught us, especially those in the bureaucracy, a hard lesson in public service. Tapang (courage) and malasakit (compassion) became buzzwords from a people weary of government apathy,” he added.
Yolanda, the deadliest typhoon to hit the Philippines, claimed the lives of at least 6,300 people, and displaced 2.6 million families.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council earlier recorded almost P90 billion worth of damage.
President Rodrigo Duterte, then-mayor of Davao City, was among the “first responders” to the plight of locals when Yolanda devastated Tacloban City in 2013.
He had declared November 8 of every year as a special non-working holiday in Tacloban City, Leyte, to remember the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda.