Beyond immediate relief, the daunting task: rebuilding homes of millions
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA – Beyond the urgent delivery of food, water and medicine, looms the long-term concern: how to shelter millions displaced by super typhoon Yolanda. With this on his agenda, Vice President Jejomar C. Binay arrived in Tacloban City Saturday for meetings with local government officials on housing rehabilitation.
"Ground validation by the National Housing Authority (NHA) to assess the number of damaged houses is already ongoing and we are closely coordinating with the city government of Tacloban to finish this at the soonest," Binay, who chairs the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), said.
He added that NHA and the key shelter agencies will also discuss the resettlement of families living along danger zones in Tacloban. “Yolanda has shown us which areas of the city are vulnerable and we will be coordinating with the local government to map out a resettlement plan,” he said.
Binay had previously said government will help survivors of typhoon Yolanda rebuild their homes or resettle to safer locations.The Vice President had pledged to give families whose houses were partially damaged by the typhoon P5,000 worth of construction materials coming from the NHA.
On Saturday, the NDRRMC said an 8-hectare site in Tacloban had been identified for a relocation site for the displaced residents. Initially, NDRRMC said, bunkhouses will be built for them.
Prior to arriving in Tacloban, the Vice President also flew to Eastern Samar to visit the town of Guiuan, which bore the brunt of super typhoon Yolanda when it first made landfall in the country. Guiuan was in the direct path of the typhoon and was cut off from the rest of the province after Yolanda practically tore through the island town, where it made the first of its six landfalls.
Binay said he had been receiving “pleas from people who have family and friends in Guiuan through social media and I wanted them to know that we have heard their cries for help and that we are here for them.” Binay said.
The OVP also received a lot of donations for the Yolanda survivors, and said that these will be distributed among the municipalities hardest hit by the typhoon. "The RoRo of relief from OVP and plus those from Makati will be arriving here in Tacloban on Sunday," he said.
“OVP relief teams are now on their way to Leyte to distribute an initial 9,200 relief bags in Tacloban and 4,000 bags in Palo. Our relief teams have also been deployed to bring 5,000 bags of food items and clothing in Aklan and another 5,000 in Antique,” he added.
Moreover, an OVP team also went to Bantayan Island in Cebu, which has been isolated due to the typhoon, to distribute 5,000 relief bags.
On Friday, Binay went to Bogo, Medellin, and Daanbatayan in Cebu to assess the damage caused by the typhoon and ensure affected families of government assistance. There, he saw a mobile clinic set up by Israeli aid officials.