Palace: Aquino fully aware of situation in ‘Yolanda’-hit areas
While the government admits the challenges hampering its rehabilitation efforts two years after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) devastated parts of the Visayas region, a Palace spokesperson assured that President Benigno Aquino III remains on top of the situation.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte issued the statement after Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez said Aquino might be misinformed of the real situation in Yolanda-stricken communities.
“Nakakarating po sa Pangulo. Kaya nga po tuwing nagpapatawag ang Pangulo ng ‘Yolanda’ rehabilitation-related meeting, ipinapakita po lahat ng datos at hindi naman po tumitigil lang ang Pangulong Aquino sa datos, at hindi po ‘yan basta-basta tatanggap ng numero kung nakikita niyang mayroong pagkakamali or mayroong pagkukulang,” Valte said in an interview over state-run DZRB radio.
(The President is aware of the situation. That’s why whenever he calls for Yolanda rehabilitation-related meetings, and whenever he is presented with the data, he does not immediately accept them if he notices that there are errors or shortcomings.)
Valte, however, admitted that the government problems on land acquisition, among others, to help the victims of the supertyphoon regarded as the strongest ever to hit land.
She said tracts of land that were initially identified by the government for permanent housing of the victims had faced issues on their procurement.
“Malaki po talagang challenge ang land acquisition pagdating doon sa pagtatayo po natin ng mga permanenteng pabahay para po doon sa mga biktima,” she said.
(Acquiring land is proving to be a challenge as far as building permanent housing for the victims is concerned.)
Romualdez has said that only 572 of the targeted 14,162 permanent houses have been built by the Aquino government two years after Yolanda flattened houses in Visayas.
Valte, however, disputed this claim, saying that the National Housing Authority has completed building 17,641 units while the construction of 41,566 units are still ongoing.
She said 929 units have been turned over to families in Tanuan and Tacloban City, Leyte while a total of 92,544 housing units are to be completed by December 2016.
She added that 1,500 families have been relocated to permanent housing sites in safer communities with their own source of potable water through a water supply support system.
Sunday, November 8, marks the second year after Yolanda claimed the lives of at least 6,000 people and left hundreds and thousands more homeless or without a livelihood. IDL