President Aquino: 'Yolanda'-affected residents to start getting permanent homes in March

February 26, 2014 6:42 am 

TANAUAN, Leyte, Feb. 25 — President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday reassured residents who lost their homes to super Typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) they may start moving into permanent homes as early as March.

Speaking at the groundbreaking of the rehabilitation of the town public plaza here, the President said this is the government's solution to keep them far from danger.

"Mahigit 25,000 pamilya–at permanenteng tahanan ang target nating ipatayo sa buong Leyte para mailayo itong mga kababayan natin sa sakuna. Isa po ang Tanauan sa ating mga permanent relocation sites para sa mga kabahayang tinamaan ng Bagyong Yolanda (Permanent homes for more than 25,000 families in Leyte are being readied. Tanauan is one area where we are building these homes to keep families far from harm)," he said.

"Ang pangako po sa atin, matapos ang dalawang linggo mula ‘tong araw na ito, ‘yong unang 50 pamilya, lilipat hindi na sa bunkhouse kundi doon po sa permanenteng magiging tahanan na nila. ‘Yung higit-kumulang na natirang 1,300, within six months, lilipat na rin sa permanenteng bahay nila (In two weeks, we expect 50 families to move into permanent homes. The other 1,300 can follow suit in the next six.months)," he added.

President Aquino said some 1,345 housing units are being built with the help of Gawad Kalinga, the National Housing Authority and the local government.

Tanauan was one of the calamity-hit areas the President visited to mark the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power revolution.

In Tanauan alone, the President said 1,375 people died in the wake of "Yolanda," yet the residents there work hard to recover.

Yet, President Aquino said he was heartened over the resilience shown by Filipinos affected by "Yolanda."

Such resilience has earned Filipinos the respect of people all over the world, he said.

On the other hand, the President said the resilience shown by residents here embody the spirit of EDSA.

He said EDSA is also about communities that help each other recover and rebuild from a tragedy.

"Tungkol din ito sa mga komunidad na nag-ambagan upang muling magtayo ng mga tahanan matapos ang mga sakuna; tungkol din ito sa mga pamilyang nagbukas ng puso sa kanilang kapuwang binaha; tungkol ito sa mga indibiduwal na nangapitbahay upang bigyang-babala ang kanilang mga kasama, at nagsabing, lumikas na tayo, heto ang kamay ko, tanganan mo, kailangan nating magtiwala sa isa’t isa, kailangan nating magtulungan upang mabuhay (This is about communities helping each other recover, families helping other families, and people asking fellow Filipinos to trust in one another)," he said.

The President also said he expects to return here one day and see Filipinos fully recovered.

Earlier Tuesday, the President inspected the permanent relocation site for residents of Tanauan at Pago village.

He also inspected the Tanauan I Central School building rehabilitated by the Korean Joint Support Group and the Philippine Army's 53rd engineering brigade.

Permanent relocation sites had been planned for 1,500 houses, with multiple sites planned to ensure closeness to livelihood locations.

The first site in Pago village will accommodate 360 houses and community facilities. The aim is to move in 50 families by March 8.

Two sites in Maribi and Sacme villages will accommodate 460 and 300 houses respectively. A fourth site is being finalized.

Meanwhile, the Tanauan I Central School had been rehabilitated as of Feb. 12 while work on other schools will go on until November 2014. (PNA)

LGI/PCOO/UTB

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