TACLOBAN CITY-- President Rodrigo Duterte will visit relocation sites for super typhoon "Yolanda" survivors in this city on Wednesday to check the progress of transferring families from coastal communities to permanent housing.
Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco said the President will arrive around 2 p.m. and will stay for about three hours at the New Hope Village, a resettlement site in Sta. Elena village for 900 Yolanda-hit families.
The Chief Executive will listen to a presentation of post-Yolanda recovery efforts since he visited the city on Nov. 8, 2016, unveil the housing site marker, tour the housing site, and talk to beneficiaries.
"We will present all accomplishments to the President. Much of these projects should have been done in the past," Evasco told reporters after a meeting at the National Irrigation Administration regional office here.
Evasco, who has been holding the post as Housing Secretary after the resignation of Vice President Leni Robredo, said the present administration is working double time to complete post-Yolanda rehabilitation projects.
"We are trying to push that all these project should be finished now. There are more important things we should provide other than house. We have to build communities not just houses," Evasco added.
New Hope Village, one the 14 government post-Yolanda housing projects in the city, has around 200 dwellers as of Tuesday afternoon. The project has 658 substantially completed units, representing 70 percent of the 939 units intended for the site.
The site is about 14 kilometers away from the city's downtown. Evasco said he is not sure if President Duterte will visit other nearby resettlement sites.
The National Housing Authority reported that there are already 3,236 dwellers in northern relocation sites as of Jan. 13. At least 6,116 units have been awarded to beneficiaries. Overall, the target is to build more than 14,000 permanent houses for Yolanda survivors in the city.
During his visit on Nov. 8, 2016, President Duterte ordered government agencies to urgently address bottlenecks in the relocation of families badly-hit by the 2013 super typhoon.
The President had expressed disappointment over the slow pace of relocation efforts three years after the monster typhoon's powerful winds and storm surges decimated the city.
In more than two months, the Philippine Army's engineering brigade has been providing trucking services to beneficiaries of housing projects using military vehicles.
Water needs have been regularly provided by the Department of Public Works and Highways and Leyte Metropolitan Water District pending the completion of medium term and long-term water supply projects.
The Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Labor and Employment have lined up activities to generate livelihood activities of relocated families.
The Leyte II Electric Cooperative has completed power connections to transmission lines near permanent houses.
The Chief Executive directed Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino to closely monitor housing projects and ensure that electricity and water supply project is done.
Dino also sent six Ceres Liner buses to Tacloban to help in the relocation of survivors. The buses have been used to shuttle the students and those working at the city center from their homes northern resettlement sites to the city for the next six months. This is a stop-gap solution until new public vehicles are established in the relocation sites.
The local government also started a weekly market day in the area to spur economic activities and make available basic goods and commodities.
On Nov. 8, 2013, super typhoon Yolanda unleashed its wrath in central Philippines, killing around 6,300 people and leaving more than 4.4 million people displaced and homeless. Tacloban City, the regional hub of Eastern Visayas region, was considered as Yolanda's ground zero.(PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency