NEARLY nine years after super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) pummelled northern Cebu in 2013, destroying homes in coastal and other areas, nearly 200 families in Tuburan town will now feel safer from the elements after they received new homes last month.

The local government unit of Tuburan and the National Housing Authority in Central Visayas (NHA 7) turned over homes to 170 beneficiaries of the Yolanda Permanent Housing Project in Lantawan Homes, Barangay Antipolo in the northwestern Cebu town on Sept. 16, 2022.

The program aims to improve the quality of life of the Tuburanons, especially those living in hazardous areas, the municipality said in a statement on its Facebook page.

Construction work was already ongoing on 80 of the homes four years ago, as indicated in the NHA 7’s November 2018 report on the status of its home building program for Yolanda victims, which also showed that work had yet to begin on the remaining 90 homes.

Tuburan was among the 15 northern Cebu towns devastated by Yolanda on Nov. 8, 2013.

The others were Santa Fe, Bantayan, Madridejos, Daanbantayan, Medellin, San Remigio, Tabogon, Tabuelan, Borbon, Sogod; and San Francisco, Poro, Tudela and Pilar in the Camotes Islands. Bogo City was also badly hit.

A month after the storm, it was determined that about 31,000 families who lived within the no-build zone (within 40 meters from the shoreline) in these areas would need to be relocated.

In November 2020, seven years after the super typhoon, the NHA 7 said only 9,800 of the 20,700 permanent housing units the agency had been tasked to build in these areas had been completed.

In 2021, however, the NHA 7 sped up its home building with the turnover of 750 houses to Bogo City.

It also conducted groundbreaking activities for the construction of homes in these towns: Pilar, 406 housing units in the Ponson Island Permanent Housing Project in Barangay Cawit; Sogod, 314 units for the Sogod Permanent Housing Project in Barangay Takay; and Tudela, 158 housing units at the Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Homes in Sitio Kanlipot, Barangay Calmante.

Then in March this year, the agency turned over 1,000 housing units of Lanao Unity Park Homes to the Municipality of Daanbantayan for release to beneficiaries.