CEBU CITY -- The National Housing Authority (NHA) in Central Visayas region plans to give housing materials to 20,000 families in northern Cebu who lost their homes during Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
For the long-term, the housing agency said it will fund resettlement sites in high-risk areas.
Constancio Antiniero, supervising engineer of NHA-Central Visayas, said the housing agency will give P5,000 worth of construction materials per household.
The NHA requires concerned local government units (LGUs) in Cebu to submit a list of households that were affected by the typhoon, but as of Monday, none has complied with the requirement.
Antiniero said the NHA cannot release the funds without the data from the LGUs. The deadline was last Friday yet.
A report obtained from the Cebu Provincial Government showed that as of November 21, an estimated 104,200 houses were damaged in 22 towns in Cebu, half of them in the fourth district.
The report listed 65,826 houses as “totally damaged” and 38,374 as “partially damaged”. It showed that Daanbantayan and Bogo reported the highest number of damaged houses, at 17,396 and 18,297, respectively.
Nationwide, more than half a million houses fell apart when Yolanda struck the Visayas last November 8, reported the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). Another half a million houses will also need repairs. The typhoon displaced some 3.4 million persons.
The NDRRMC report also listed 5,235 dead, 1,613 missing and 25,559 injured—the only number that rose in the last three days—as of Monday night.
In Cebu, Antiniero said NHA still has to validate the data from the local governments on the number of houses lost.
The housing agency has conducted surveys in Medellin, Daanbantayan, San Remigio and Bogo City.
Antiniero attended on Monday a meeting of a task force that is meant to coordinate efforts of the government and the private sector to rehabilitate northern Cebu LGUs hardest hit by Yolanda.
In the meeting, the local governments of Bantayan, Sta. Fe, Madridejos, Tabogon, Pilar and Medellin reported the results of their initial assessment of households affected by the typhoon.
Jeffrey Zamora, Sta. Fe municipal planning officer, noted that the number of families displaced by Yolanda is more than the intended beneficiaries of NHA.
Antiniero explained that NHA can only help 20,000 families this year because their budget for 2013 has been exhausted due to rehabilitation efforts for Zamboanga, earthquake-affected areas in Bohol, and towns and cities in Samar, Leyte and Iloilo, which were also ravaged by Yolanda.
Antiniero said the funds will be taken from the NHA’s housing materials assistance fund of the year 2013.
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) Regional Director Rosanna Urdaneta pointed out that National Government Agencies are spending the remaining funds for their 2013 budget.
“For sure, the National Government will allot more funds next year,” Urdaneta said during the meeting with local government units in northern Cebu.
Antiniero said funds for the construction materials of beneficiaries will be coursed through the local government unit (LGU). The LGU will then purchase the construction materials through a public bidding.
A memorandum of agreement will be signed between the LGU and NHA as the money will be downloaded to the municipality.
Antiniero said that once the documents have been submitted, it would take the NHA one month to process and release the funds.
Antiniero said NHA’s long-term plan is to develop a two-hectare resettlement site in every town or city that face the highest risks to extreme weather disturbances and other geohazards.
LGUs have to provide the site as counterpart. The lot has to be titled in the name of the LGU.
The NHA allots P12 million to each municipality and P24 million to each city under the program.
For the year 2014, it will be used either for the land development or housing construction to provide shelter for the families who were displaced by the typhoon.
Aside from the help of the NHA, Tesda also pledged to help by training 400 skilled workers from the areas badly affected by the typhoon.
The name of the project will be Skills Training and Emergency Employment towards Recovery In Northern Cebu (STEER Cebu).
Tesda will provide training skills for carpentry, masonry, electrical and plumbing.
Tesda Assistant Regional Director Santa Rita Buenafe said the skilled workers will construct four model houses and they will provide the materials needed by the people who will participate.
Tesda will give a minimum wage for those who join the skills training.
Just like NHA, Tesda is also waiting for the final number of affected families to be given by the LGUs.
Also on Monday, a Department of Energy (DOE) official said that all power and communication lines have been restored in northern Cebu towns ravaged by Yolanda.
As for other parts of the Visayas devastated by the typhoon, power is gradually being restored, DOE Regional Director Antonio Labios said in a press briefing.
Labios said that some 1,500 personnel of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) have been deployed to affected areas to repair damaged power lines and cables.
Ormoc City and Maasin City in Leyte are among those that already have power after the sub-cable in Leyte was repaired.
“There is already 23 megawatts power supply in the western part of Leyte. Out of 23 megawatts, 19 megawatts are for Bohol,” Labios told reporters at the MIP Lounge of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).
Aside from ensuring that power supply is fully restored, DOE is also making sure that prices of fuel remain stable in the typhoon-stricken towns and cities.
Labios said they are monitoring dealers and retailers of fuel products following complaints that some have jacked up prices.
Meanwhile, Smart Communications Inc. also announced that their service has been restored in 90 percent of the areas affected by the typhoon that swept across the Visayas last November 8.
Lawyer Jane Paredes, Smart Communication’s senior manager for public affairs in Visayas and Mindanao, said service is still down in some parts of Visayas that still have no power.
In some areas of Tacloban City and Ormoc, they have to use generator sets to fix damaged cell sites. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Flor V. Querubin and Flornisa M. Gitgano, (Tuesday, November 26, 2013). P5,000 each for 20,000 families in northern Cebu Sun.Star Cebu. Retrieved from http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/local-news/2013/11/26/p5000-each-20000-families-northern-cebu-315610