12 Cebu towns receive P168M

Sun.Star Graphics: Rigil Kent Ynot

CEBU CITY -- Twelve northern Cebu towns have received P168.65 million so far from three National Government agencies to fix government buildings, build emergency shelter and develop resettlement areas for Yolanda survivors.

The financial assistance came from the quick response funds of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Housing Authority (NHA), and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

This represents only the first tranche, said a recent progress report of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO).

The assistance is not part of the P12.2-billion rehabilitation and recovery plan for Cebu Province that President Benigno Aquino III signed last July, said Capitol consultant for rehabilitation and recovery Carmel Ulanday.

Yolanda ended more than 6,200 lives and injured about 28,000 people in the Visayas last Nov. 8, 2013, said a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council report.

The typhoon also destroyed or damaged almost P40 billion worth of infrastructure, crops and agricultural facilities.

DILG’s first tranche of assistance was released last May 2. It was intended for the repair of municipal buildings, public markets and civic centers.

Ulanday said the second tranche will be for the repair of barangay halls.

Earlier, Regional Director Ananias Villacorta said the financial assistance distributed to northern local governments formed part of the Recovery Assistance for Yolanda (RAY) fund of DILG.

For its part, DSWD has given emergency shelter assistance to Madridejos (P66.4 million), Sogod (18.1 million) and Tabuelan (P9 million).

Paperwork

Madridejos Mayor Salvador Dela Fuente said he received the DSWD’s funds early last June.

A total of 7,355 beneficiaries received shelter assistance last June 9.

Those with damaged houses received P5,000 each, while those whose houses were destroyed received P10,000.

In the PDRRMO report, NHA has given funds to Tuburan, so far, at P4.2 million.

Ulanday said there are some local government units (LGUs) that have not received assistance like the shelter assistance from the DILG because they lacked documents.

As for the resettlement areas, the bidding will happen at “the national level but contractors will coordinate with the municipalities” for the bidding documents needed.

Based on the Capitol report, the bidding is still being done for the repair of school buildings. The funds will come from the Department of Education and Department of Public Works and Highways.

Repairs

Other areas that still need to be addressed are livelihood, health and infrastructure.

Ulanday said the projects supported by the assistance from the different government agencies will be deducted from the P12.2-billion rehabilitation plan to avoid duplication.

Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro said the repairs on their cultural center, municipal hall and public market are ongoing. The town has also prepared three relocation sites in Barangays Agujo, Paypay and Pajo.

The construction of houses for survivors is being done with the help of different non-government organizations.

In Madridejos, Mayor dela Fuente said they are considering two potential resettlement areas in Barangays Kaongkod and Tarong.

The town is also waiting for the NHA’s help with the construction of houses. Dela Fuente admitted that a few families are still staying in tents, 10 months after the typhoon swept across the Visayas.

42,428 in Cebu

He said the DSWD funds given to the beneficiaries were not enough, especially for those whose houses were destroyed.

An NHA official, in a separate interview, said the agency is accrediting private contractors and land developers who can handle housing projects for survivors of typhoon Yolanda in Cebu and Bohol.

NHA 7 Regional Manager Gavino Figuracion said about 42,428 housing units were allocated for northern Cebu.

To qualify, contractors and developers must submit the first envelope containing their letter of intent to participate in housing projects for survivors of calamities.

Second, they should identify the properties that they are going to develop and the detailed engineering for the housing projects.

“I was informed that several contractors and developers are now roaming around northern Cebu to find properties to develop under the NHA program,” Figuracion said.

Housing

The NHA has a housing program for marginal families and a resettlement program that can be administered by LGUs, he also said.

Under the housing program for marginal families, the NHA offered a monthly rental of P500 for five years, with an option to purchase.

If a family will decide to purchase the house they are renting, their monthly rental will increase to P1,200 per month for 25 years, and all the rentals paid will be deducted from the unit price.

For the resettlement assistance program to LGUs, a city or town should provide property as their counterpart.

First to fourth-class towns can avail themselves of P12 million in assistance, which the NHA will not require the LGUs to pay back.

But Figuracion said they are encouraging LGUs to recover the amount from housing beneficiaries and use it as seed money for housing projects for other poor families. (Sun.Star Cebu)
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