20,570 Yolanda survivors still live in bunk houses, says archbishop
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines — Palo Archbishop John Du has expressed disappointment that there are still families living in bunk houses, almost a year after the onslaught of supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
Du said that families living in tents should now be relocated to their permanent houses, which they must have as human beings.
“They should be given permanent houses. It’s too long already; it’s one year already,” Du, archbishop of Palo in Leyte, said.
Based on the records of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Eastern Visayas (DSWD-8), 4,114 families or about 20,570 individuals still live in bunk houses in Leyte, Samar and Eastern Samar, the provinces that sustained major damage caused by Yolanda.
Of this number, 1,042 families are in Tacloban City, 432 in Palo town, 900 in Ormoc City—all in Leyte; and 477 in Basey and 283 in Marabut, both in Samar.
There are still 1,004 families living in bunk houses in Eastern Samar—45 families in Borongan City, 19 in Maydolong, 239 in Hernani, 8 in Balangkayan, 69 in Salcedo, 24 in Mercedes, 48 in Lawaan, 82 in Balangiga, 80 in Giporlos, 72 in Quinapondan and 318 in Guiuan.
“Pity them. The bunkhouses are not humane. They should be given what they deserve as human beings,” Du said.
Bunkhouses were constructed by the national government through the Department of Public Works and Highways last December for families whose houses were destroyed by the killer storm.
A unit of a bunk house measures 8.64 square meters. The cost of a bunk house is more than P800,000.
Du said that as part of their assistance to the government, the archdiocese of Palo has donated about eight hectares of land to various humanitarian groups where permanent houses could be constructed.
He said that lots owned by the archdiocese were donated to the Catholic Relief Services and the SM Foundation for their relocation site programs in Tacloban.
“We’re also helping the government. We are offering the land,” Du said.