Palace assures safe, spacious bunkhouses for Tacloban folk

January 9, 2014 10:38 am 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Jan. 8 (PNA) — Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda on Wednesday said that Tacloban residents can expect to reside in safe and spacious bunkhouses as they await the completion of their permanent shelters.

Lacierda explained in a briefing at the Palace that the bunkhouses were originally constructed for 24 families each but since there were concerns that they were cramped, the plan was changed to accommodate only 12 families instead.

“We realized the concerns of experts. For that reason, Department of Public Works and Highways secretary Rogelio Singson has decided to reduce the number of families in one bunkhouse,” he said.

He also mentioned that the DPWH will not be following the “20 square meter” standard since the agency already had its own plans set.

The 20 square meter standard, he said, was based on a Sri Lankan model financed by grants and not of the Sri Lankan government.

Reports that the bunkhouses were “substandard” were not true, he said, saying that the DPWH has followed the building code and has also consulted experts.

“Our standards are safety and that they (Tacloban residents) won't be in a cramped place,” Lacierda said, stressing that a family of more than five members will not be squeezed into one room.

The Malacanang official also reiterated that the bunkhouses were temporary and that the national government was moving towards building permanent shelters in more or less two years time.

He said the construction of bunkhouses was for the purpose of urgently housing the evacuees and was in many ways “better than having a tent or a tarpaulin” to stay in.

“We are taking care of them–their concern is our concern,” he added, also assuring that the soon-to-be accomplished permanent shelters will be “typhoon-resistant”. (PNA)

CTB/ANP/WITH REPORTS FROM LIEZEL B. BUNAO

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