Only 10% of housing for Yolanda victims built

Posted at 05/07/14 1:44 PM

Lacson says there's not enough land for homeless

MANILA - Rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson said the government is having a hard time putting up housing units for the Yolanda victims because of lack of safe places to build.

In a press conference in Malacanang, Lacson said only 10% of 216,966 housing units have been set up in provinces hit by the super typhoon.

“The challenge really is the resettlement site, The government lacks the land,” he said.

He said it’s not also that easy to look for resettlement areas that are multi-hazard resistant.

“We’re not just talking about storm surges here. We need to look for lots that are far from fault lines. We have to also look at soil liquefaction.”

He said the 216,966 housing units are only for those living in high-risk zones. These do not yet cover families in safe zones but whose houses were also damaged.

“Some militants are saying that the government should just give the families P40,000 each. That’s easy to do. The government has the money, But would that save lives?”

Despite the slow pace of reconstruction, he said the government has made headway in the rehabilitation of Yolanda-hit areas.

“Katrina-hit areas took 8 years, Banda Aceh took 8 years. It’s already 4 years after the Haiti earthquake, but they still have to see the full road to recovery. Six months after Yolanda, despite the vastness of the devastation, we have done a lot,” he said.

He said the economies of the provinces affected are already moving.

“Why am I saying that we are on track? There is no famine, no epidemic, no breakdown of law and order,” he said.

Had the government not done its job, at least one of those problems could have set in already, he said.

He said the five different rehabilitation clusters are still completing their action plans, which would complete the Master Plan for rehabilitation.

The five clusters headed by the Cabinet secretaries cover infrastructure (Sec. Rogelio Singson), social services (Sec. Dinky Soliman), resettlement (VP Jejomar Binay), support services (Sec. Florencio Abad and Sec. Arsenio Balisacan), and livelihood (Sec. Gregory Domingo).