Housing authority gets P2.2B for quake, Yolanda survivors

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014


CEBU CITY - The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) approved only P2.2 billion from the P15 billion proposed by the National Housing Authority (NHA) for the permanent housing program for families affected by the October 15 earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda.

NHA 7 Director Gavino Figuracion said that because of this, the distribution of assistance through local government units (LGUs) will have to be on “first come, first served” basis.

He said NHA received the P2.2 billion.

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Other government agencies, like the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Public Works and Highways, are concentrating on non-permanent housing programs.

“If we say permanent housing, we are concentrating on families in no-build zones,” Figuracion said.

He said a certification from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources through the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, stating that the land occupied by a family is in a no-build zone, is used as basis for relocation.

In the entire Visayas, there are 171 cities and municipalities affected by the 40-meter radius “no-build zone,” which includes that 16 LGUs in northern Cebu that were devastated by Yolanda.

NHA proposed 60,000 housing units in the Visayas for those in the “no-build zone” and 8,548 of these will be for northern Cebu. The housing program will be implemented between 2014 and 2016.

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Figuracion said that once a Municipal Government or City Government turns over the relocation site to NHA, the housing agency will develop the area and build house-and-lot units for P250,000 each.

Bogo City turned over around 6.6 hectares; San Remigio, 2.7 hectares; and Tabuelan, three hectares. Tuburan and Daanbantayan also have their own relocation sites.

In the case of San Remigio, Figuracion said the planning and design of the relocation area were completed.

“The planning and design alone, for a three-hectare relocation site, will take around one month. This includes engineering details, housing design and all other documents like costing for the feasibility study needed for bidding,” Figuracion said.

“We are still on engineering details for the City of Bogo. For Medellin, it is still in the process of land acquisition. For Tabuelan, the land was purchased the other week and we already have the documents such as topography and other papers needed for planning,” he added.

But in the islands of Bantayan and Camotes, the NHA cannot build permanent housing for affected families because lots there could not be titled.

Commission on Audit regulations prohibit the acquisition by government of lots that do not have titles.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 30, 2014.

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