Most of the houses built by the government for families left homeless by super typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City nine years ago were substandard and unfit for human occupancy.
Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez made this disparaging assessment of the housing project implemented by the National Housing Authority (NHA) for the Yolanda victims.
Romualdez said about 70 percent of the 10,000 houses erected by the NHA were “substandard,” adding they were “too cramped” and lacked basic utilities.
In an interview with the ANC, Romualdez said his administration cannot give occupancy permit “because we can’t install utilities.”
“The problem here, in terms of construction, NHA may say that it’s fully constructed, but we can’t give an occupancy permit because we can’t install utilities,” he said.
The city government commemorated on Tuesday the ninth anniversary of Yolanda.
The mayor noted that despite the slow pace of reconstruction, the people were able to “move on very quickly.
“The problem there, overall, nakikita ko, the structures and infrastructures that were built, ito ‘yung malungkot, maganda ‘yung mga kalye, mga tulay, pati embankment bilyon ang ginastos, bakit sa pabahay hindi?”
Romualdez batted for the city government to take over the implementation of the housing project for better results.
“Para kami na ang magtatapos at kami na ang gagawa ng paraan para maayos na ito at makalipat na ang mga tao,” he said.
It may be recalled that Yolanda left some 6,300 dead, more than 1,000 missing, and over 28,000 injured.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Nov. 8, 2013 super typhoon affected over 16 million people, displacing an estimated 5.1 million.
Yolanda destroyed 1.1 million homes, with the cost of overall damage to infrastructure placed at P95 billion.