DPWH to build 247 more bunkhouses in Eastern Visayas
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines—Despite the controversy hounding the construction of bunk houses intended for Yolanda-hit survivors, the government will still construct an additional 247 bunk houses in Eastern Visayas.
Rolando Asis, regional director for Eastern Visayas of the Department of Public Works and Highways, said that the construction of the additional bunk houses would cost more than P200 million.
The national government, through the DPWH, constructed 222 bunk houses in Yolanda-hit areas in Eastern Visayas of which 135 have been completed.
“The construction of the new 247 bunk houses was in response to the request of the local government units,” Asis said when asked for the reason why they would put up new bunk houses, supposed to be temporary houses of victims of supertyphoon Yolanda who lost their houses.
He added that the people had expressed their desire to stay in bunk houses than in tents.
However, Asis could not yet say when the DPWH could start building the additional bunkhouses as funding for this would need approval from the DPWH central office.
The construction of the bunk houses intended for typhoon victims who lost their homes came under fire due to allegations of overpricing and not within the accepted international standard.
Of the 247 new bunk houses, 180 will be constructed in Tacloban City; 28 in Palo; 35 in Eastern Samar and four in Samar.
The construction of the 247 new bunk houses would mean that the national government would spend around P206 million, Asis said.
A bunk house cost about P836,000.
The national government has constructed 222 bunk houses in the region, costing more than P185 million.
Asis said the new bunk houses would conform to international standards as these would be larger in size than the previous ones being built.
The current bunk houses, made of GI sheets, plywood and coco lumber, measure 8.64 square meters for each unit. On the other hand, each unit in the new bunkhouse would be double the size.
According to De Asis, some bunkhouse units built in Guiuan town, Eastern Samar have been occupied by the Yolanda survivors.
However, he could not say how many families were living in the completed units.
Asked if Tacloban government made a request for additional bunk houses on top of the 51 that was original proposed, city disaster risk reduction management council officer Federico Anido said he was aware of such a proposal but could not give details.
“But personally, I like the idea. I think no one from our evacuees living in the tent cities liked to stay long at the tents. They would prefer to stay in bunk houses,” Anido said in a phone interview.
There are still 1,038 families or 6,228 persons in Tacloban who are still living in different tent cities of evacuation centers.
Levi Nicart, provincial disaster risk reduction management officer for Eastern Samar, said that they welcomed the construction of additional bunk houses but these should be located in safe areas.
“Otherwise, if these new bunk houses would be located within danger zones, then we are just exposing to risks (Yolanda survivors) as if we never learned any lessons from our Yolanda experience,” Nicart said in a separate phone interview.
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