Gov’t relocates 1,039 Tacloban families in 2 weeks

TACLOBAN CITY, -- The government has relocated some 1,039 families from danger zones to permanent housing sites in the past two weeks.

Leading the transfer of families badly-hit by super typhoon Yolanda are the city government and the Philippine Army's 53rd Engineering Brigade.

To include households that were transfered earlier, there are already 2,400 families that were moved to their new homes built by the National Housing Authority (NHA) as of December 10.

Among the occupied housing sites are North Hill Arbour in San Roque village, Guadalupe Height and Greendale Residences in Suhi village.

Col. Edgar Yerro of the Army's 53rd engineering brigade, who supervises the relocation of residents living along coastal areas, said that the National Housing Authority (NHA) has picked specific recipients of each of the 7,231 housing units through raffle.

"NHA will continue doing the raffle for beneficiaries, but this doesn't mean that they can already occupy the house. NHA is doing it so that a family will know where their future house is, regular monitor its construction, and plan for relocation," Yerro said.

They are targeting to relocate 8,000 families to permanent shelters by end of this year but this will still depend on the availability of houses, according to the Army official.

Earlier, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino ordered government agencies to ensure that housing units are livable before relocation. Other primary considerations are livelihood and available classrooms for children.

There is a complaint desk in every relocation site with a personnel assigned to list their construction-related concerns and relay it to the contractors.

Delicia Vescayno, who owns a unit at North Hill Arbour lauded the immediate response of the complaint desk when she reported a problem about their toilet.

"Our problem was immediately solved after reporting it at the complaint desk," Vescayno said.

Yerro said that glitches after construction are inevitable that is why residents are encouraged to check their units before moving.

"Problem in housing construction always exist, that is why the recipients are given free ride for them to check their units before they could transfer so that they will see, check and inform us what are the problems that need to be fixed," he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency