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NHA to construct only 500 houses for Yolanda victims

CEBU, Philippines - Citing budgetary constraints, the National Housing Authority-Central Visayas yesterday said it can only build 500 permanent houses in northern Cebu for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda that struck last year.

This is out of the 1,345 target units to be built this year, according to NHA-7 regional manager engineer Gavino Figuracion.

Figuracion said that the agency has already allotted P388 million to earthquake victims in Bohol as the earlier disaster happened less than a month before the typhoon.

Each permanent house and lot unit cost P290,000, with a private developer.

The total contract price of the unit with 40 square meters lot area and 22 square meter floor area is composed of P190,000 for the housing unit, P85,000 for land development, and P10,000 for lot acquisition.

Implementation of the permanent home construction is this month.

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On a national scale, a total of 205,393 houses within the 50-meter radius of Yolanda wrath including Eastern and Central Visayas for the period 2014 to 2016 are to be built.

Of these, 22,423 are intended for region 7.

Around 391 beneficiaries from San Remigio will soon have their new homes as these units, with a total area of 2.7 hectares, are set for bidding already.

In Daanbantayan, 71 units in a .5 hectare area are set to be constructed where NHA will take care of land development while private partner Habitat will shoulder the construction cost.  Still in Daanbantayan, a separate permanent resettlement will also rise in a two-hectare area with 200 units, still with Habitat.

A total of 8.7 hectare area will host 220 beneficiary families in Tabuelan where the tapped developer will both take care of land development and housing construction.

Negotiation is ongoing for the 6.6 hectares identified in Bogo City.

In Medellin, 1.93 hectares with 375 units have already been identified, with no developer identified yet.

NHA has identified 1.38 hectares in Tabogon and 3.09 hectares in Tuburan.

Sogod town has not finalized yet its permanent resettlement site.

Authorities admitted that Bantayan and Camotes islands are their main concerns as these areas are declared as wilderness area, hence, non-alienable and non-disposable.

However, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has started doing delineation and demarcation.

The NHA official further stressed that the units are designed to be typhoon-resilient homes that can withstand 250-kilometers-per-hour wind.

Figuracion explained that NHA is tasked to provide permanent homes to disaster-hit families while the Department of Social Welfare and Development is for emergency shelter assistance, and the Department of Public Works and Highways for the bunk houses.

The local government unit, on its part, is tasked to identify the areas where these houses will be built, especially for those destroyed homes within the No Build Zone. — (FREEMAN)

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