Yolanda-hit towns appeal for shelter aid

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014


CEBU CITY -- Two months after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck, several towns in northern Cebu have identified relocation sites for families who can no longer rebuild their homes in the no-build zones.

Local officials, however, appealed for help from the National Government and private organizations to raise enough funds to rebuild houses.

The Cebu Provincial Government has processed P53 million so far for the relief operations.

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Provincial Budget Officer Danilo Rodas said this included the P23 million distributed to the 15 local government units that suffered after the super typhoon swept across the Visayas last November 8.

In 591 towns and 57 cities, around 16 million persons were affected by the typhoon, the national disaster council said in Tuesday night’s situation report. The death toll rose to 6,183.

About 1.14 million houses need to be repaired or replaced, and more than 100,000 persons continue to leave in nearly 400 evacuation centers. The total damage to agriculture and infrastructure has reached P36.69 billion. Government has so far distributed P1.25 billion in relief goods.

In Cebu, eight local government units received P2 million each from the Province: Bantayan, Sta. Fe, Madridejos, Daanbantayan, Medellin, San Remegio, Pilar and Bogo City.

The seven towns that received P1 million each are Poro, San Francisco, Tudela, Borbon, Tabogon, Tabuelan and Sogod.

Severe damage

After the typhoon, which sent a destructive storm surge into Tacloban City, Malacañang declared a state of national calamity. Government also said it would prohibit the construction of houses and other structures within 40 meters of the coast, to prevent losses and deaths when extreme weather events occur.

A map prepared by ShelterCluster.org shows that in four areas in Cebu, the damage to houses was severe, with more than 10,000 houses in each area either badly damaged or destroyed. These four areas are Bantayan town, Daanbantayan, Medellin and Bogo. (Daanbantayan and Bantayan were among the six points where Yolanda made landfall.)

The map also indicated, however, that some shelter assistance has reached these four areas.

In an earlier interview, Cebu Provincial Schools Division Superintendent Arden Monisit said that the Provincial Government extended P7 million to help in the repair of classrooms, chairs and other materials needed by the students.

Rodas said that amount was charged to the Special Education Fund.

He also said P30 million was left of the 2013 calamity fund.

The Task Force Paglig-on held another meeting Tuesday with the clusters that include representatives from international and local non-government organizations, together with mayors of the affected local governments.

Negotiations

On behalf of Bogo City Mayor Celestino Martinez Jr., newly elected Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) Provincial Federation president Celestino “Tining” Martinez III presented updates on the city’s rebuilding efforts.

Bogo City has identified four lots that will serve as resettlement areas in Barangays Malingin, Cayang, Polambato and La Paz.

The City, Martinez added, is still negotiating for more land in Barangays Libertad and Guadalupe that will also serve as relocation sites.

The mayor’s son also presented a model housing unit for these sites.

He emphasized that the City still needs the help of the National Government, NGOs and other agencies for the funding, coordination and implementation of the project.

In Madridejos, Mayor Salvador Dela Fuente mentioned a lot in Barangay Tugas, which is a Gawad Kalinga site, to relocate roughly 1,000 families from the 11 coastal barangays.

Like Bogo City, Dela Fuente said they also need financial assistance for the construction of the houses.

Picking sites

In Tudela, Mayor Erwin Yu said 12 houses have been built on the relocation site in Sitio Fatima, Barangay General, for the residents near the shoreline in Barangays Southern Poblacion and General.

Tudela was the first town that inaugurated a relocation site for the families living in the no-build zones.

Mayor Yu said a total of 168 families will be relocated.

Earlier, Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III said the Province will provide a five-hectare property behind the Cebu Technological University for the town of Daanbantayan, for their relocation site.

Consultant Baltazar Tribunalo Jr., head of Task Force Paglig-on, said that Bantayan and Sta. Fe have also identified their own resettlement areas. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 08, 2014.

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