‘Yolanda’ survivors bewail lack of jobs in relocation sites
ILOILO CITY, Philippines — Residents, who had been staying in danger or no-build zones on Panay Island since Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) struck six years ago, have not been relocated or have returned to their former dwellings due mainly to lack of livelihood.
Roberto Nuñez, director of the Office of Civil Defense in Western Visayas, said many of those hit by Typhoon “Ursula” (international name: Phanfone) on Dec. 25 last year were also those badly affected by Yolanda which traversed a similar path across the Visayas in November 2013.
During the special session of the regional disaster risk reduction and management council on Tuesday, Nuñez cited the need to permanently relocate those most vulnerable to perennial floods and other calamities.
“We should not wait for another typhoon … We have to focus on our response to all the things that we need to do rather than on going back to the same areas,” he said.
Nuñez said many residents who were supposed to have been relocated had gone back to their former homes due to inadequate relocation sites.
“(The relocation sites) should be complete. Aside from houses, there should be a school, a church (or place of worship) and alternative livelihood,” he told the Inquirer.Far from town center
A government relocation site in Jumaguicjic Ville in Roxas City, Capiz province, is about 12 kilometers from the city center.
Many residents, who were relocated from the coastal village of Culasi in the city, complained of lack of livelihood in the area, with some having to spend P100 daily in fare to go back to the town to fish.
Many had left or rarely stayed in relocation sites and instead returned to their former villages where they put up makeshift houses to be near their livelihood.
There was also need to hasten the completion and putting up of regional and provincial evacuation centers, Nuñez said.
Ursula, considered the worst to hit Panay Island since Yolanda in 2013, left 29 people dead in Western Visayas.