Yolanda a year after: Only 2% of needed houses to be built by Nov 8

Paterno Esmaquel II
Nearly a year after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), 400 families still live in tents in Tacloban City while hundreds stay in temporary houses, Mayor Alfred Romualdez says

MANILA, Philippines – Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez said he expects 400 of the 14,500 needed permanent houses for typhoon survivors to be “finally built” by November 8, a year after Yolanda (Haiyan) left his city in ruins.

Built by the government and the private sector, these comprise around 2.75% of the needed houses in Tacloban City.

In a forum with foreign correspondents based in Manila on Tuesday, October 28, Romualdez said 50 families have moved to permanent shelters as of Tuesday, October 28.

At the same time, 400 families still live in tents, while hundreds stay in temporary houses. (READ: Gov’t hit for delayed Haiyan shelters)

“A very compelling priority for us is to get people out of tents,” Romualdez said.

SLOW BUILD. In this file photo taken last February, Rina Etang, 39, waits for the government to move her, along with her children and other relatives, to a bunkhouse unit. She lives in the shanty right behind her. File photo by Franz Lopez/Rappler

‘Slow’ process at first

During the forum, Romualdez admitted that “in the beginning,” rebuilding the houses “was slow” partly because of bureaucracy.

He said the Philippines’ National Housing Authority, however, eventually improved its housing scheme. “There’s a very good chance that it will be faster,” he said.

Romualdez added that the local government, the national government, and groups such as the GMA Kapuso Foundation and Habitat for Humanity have been building permanent shelters.

The national government earlier said Yolanda left at least 550,928 houses totally damaged across the Philippines.

Groups have criticized the government for the delay in building permanent shelters. – Rappler.com


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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.