MAYORS IN Leyte, the worst hit province by typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) in Nov. 2013, have been asked by Malacañang to “reactivate their local inter-agency committees (LIAC) to ensure the successful turnover of Yolanda resettlement housing projects.”
In a statement on Sunday, the Office of Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles said the official spoke to “42 mayors” at the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region 8 Office in Palo last Saturday.
“We have to address this by reactivating the LIACs. If the LIACs are active, major milestones have been observed. This includes submission of a complete list of beneficiaries, monitor the status of construction of housing units, facilitate the actual transfer of beneficiaries, and come up with occupancy rules and regulations,” Mr. Nograles was quoted as saying.
Mr. Nograles also serves as the Chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Unified Implementation and Monitoring of Rehabilitation and Recovery Programs in the Yolanda Corridor (IATF-Yolanda), a task force created in August 2017 by virtue of Administrative Order No. 5.
Mr. Nograles noted that “a substantial number of houses for affected families were unfinished while there were completed housing projects had yet to be occupied.”
“We are appealing to local government units for active support and participation because only through LIACs that we can effectively implement the housing program. Through this committee, they can generate issues and concerns, report to us, and address these needs through national government agencies with the help of local governments.”
Mr. Nograles added that based on the NHA’s report on the Yolanda Permanent Housing Program as of February 2019, “of the 205,128 housing units in the Yolanda corridor, 56,140 are in Region VIII,” of which 29,531 are fully completed, with 18,183 already occupied and 11,348 units ready for occupancy.
His office said the government is “targeting 2020 for the completion of all housing projects, though most of the units should be finished by the end of 2019.”
Mr. Nograles said it was necessary “to find out the needs of resettlement sites and program it under the 2020 budget.”
“We want a township approach where resettlement sites are provided with electricity, water, community center, school, health center, access road, and livelihood opportunities,” he said. — Arjay L. Balinbin