The National Housing Authority (NHA) reported that construction of 41,967 housing units or 65 percent of the 64,696 total housing units under the Yolanda Permanent Housing Program (YPHP) in Eastern Visayas has been completed as of May 2021.

In its most recent report to the Regional Development Council VIII-Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RDC VIII-RPMC), the agency said that of the completed units, 29,422 are already occupied while 11,266 units are ready for occupancy. The remaining 1,279 units still lack electricity and water supply and are not yet ready to be occupied.

According to the report, challenges remain in the completion of the Yolanda housing projects. These include delays due to unfavorable weather conditions, lack of manpower and resources deployed on site, additional works to suit actual field conditions, delayed issuances of permits and licenses from the LGUs/other agencies, among many others.

Meanwhile, the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) reported that 96 percent of the Tacloban North Water Supply Project has been completed. This system is designed to give 21 resettlement sites in the area a stable and reliable water supply.

For other resettlement sites, the LWUA reported that 13 projects were completed, 20 are ongoing, 56 are in pre-construction, while 2 were suspended. This was due to a dispute on the ownership of the spring source. Per LWUA, the concerned water districts are looking/negotiating for a new site of their spring water source.

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) also shared updates to the RPMC VIII. Per NEA, it has completed 57 of the 155 electrification projects for the original YPHP housing units. Meanwhile, 42 sites are for identification of the developer or for survey, 44 sites have tapping points energized, and 12 are under bidding/construction.

Per NEA, they are in close coordination with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF)-Yolanda Project Monitoring Office and the NHA to secure the list of awarded/raffled beneficiaries for the NHA housing projects. The list is one of the requirements for them to release necessary funding and the electric cooperative to implement the electrification of individual housing units.

The NHA, LWUA, and NEA assured the RPMC VIII that they are acting to address the issues they are facing in the completion of the housing units, in coordination with IATF-Yolanda and other concerned entities.

For its part, the RPMC VIII continues to regularly monitor the progress of these housing projects and is providing regular presentation of updates during its quarterly meetings.

Just recently, the RPMC VIII conducted field monitoring visits to Yolanda resettlement sites in the Province of Biliran. During the visit, the body hailed the quick completion of the housing projects in the province, finding no issues with the implementation, and even hailing the superior quality of the units.

Article and Photos by:  Knulp Aseo, DRD/ Ana Rose Magdalaga, PMED