The Tacloban City Housing and Community Development Office (CHCDO), together with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Office VIII and the National Housing Authority (NHA) Regional Office VIII, facilitated the transfer of 94 Yolanda-displaced families from the International Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (IPI) Bunkhouse in Barangay Caibaan, Tacloban City to their permanent housing units in Ridge View Park I in Brgy. Cabalawan, Tacloban City on December 04, 08, and 09, 2015. The families who transferred were the beneficiaries assigned to respective housing units through raffle drawn by the NHA earlier in November.

Mr. Joseph Dela Peña, DSWD VIII Community Development Officer (CDO), said that there are now more than 200 families from the International Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (IPI) Bunkhouse who are now residing in Ridge View Park I. He added that the transfer of families will continue in the coming months. They will closely coordinate with the City Government of Tacloban and the NHA VIII for future transfers, not just in Ridgeview but in other resettlement sites in the City.

Permanent supply of water and electricity in these resettlement areas remains a challenge. Water tanks installed by the DSWD, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Nigerian Government is the temporary source in Ridge View both for domestic and drinking use. Meanwhile, the Leyte Electric Cooperative (LEYECO) II has been working on the installation of electric connection in the resettlement areas.

In the Tacloban City Local Inter-Agency Committee (LIAC) Meeting on Resettlement held in December, concerns on water supply in the resettlement areas were discussed. Since the Memorandum of Agreement between the DSWD and IOM was only until the end of 2015, the DSWD, Tacloban City Government, and Leyte Metropolitan Water District will draft a Memorandum of Understanding to provide water supply in the resettlement areas. Another project of IOM that will provide shallow wells, deep wells and rainwater catchments are also underway. Also, the Philippine National Red Cross has committed to provide two tankers with drivers for the water delivery until February 2016.

Ruel T. Bugnos, YPMO, NEDA VIII