Housing czar eyes nearly P700-M to aid typhoon victims

By Lade Jean Kabagani

December 5, 2020, 7:05 pm

<p>Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo del Rosario <em>(PNA file photo) </em></p>

Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo del Rosario (PNA file photo) 

MANILA – The government will be needing around PHP697.6 million to help some 712,522 families hit hard by the onslaught of recent typhoons, housing czar Eduardo del Rosario said on Saturday.

Del Rosario said the amount could assist residents whose homes were "either partially destroyed or totally damaged" by the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses, particularly those residing in the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, the Bicol Region, Calabarzon, and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

He said the housing department is yet to submit a funding request to the Office of the President, through the newly created Build Back Better Task Force -- a post-disaster rehabilitation and recovery program for typhoon-affected areas.

Del Rosario said there is an ongoing field validation on the damaged houses within typhoon-stricken areas including CAR, Region 2 (Cagayan Province), and Mimaropa.

“For our long-term requirements on resettlement, we need the validation of the post-disaster needs assessment that would be undertaken by the Office of the Civil Defense [OCD], and this will cover from Regions 1 to 5, so with this, we’ll take time because direct coordination must be undertaken with the LGUs [local government units] concerned,” del Rosario added.

Del Rosario said the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) will submit its complete action plan once the validation, confirmation, and direct coordination with the affected local government units (LGUs) will be completed.

Meanwhile, del Rosario said the housing department's recent assessment showed that about 421 households in the highly susceptible areas prone to landslides and flooding in Barangay Runruno, Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya, needed an immediate relocation.

Del Rosario said the government will be needing around PHP37.51 million for the resettlement program of the residents.

He said more than PHP27 million had been disbursed to initially assist around 2,725 beneficiaries in typhoon-hit areas from Region 4-A and Region 4-B under the Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP) of the government.

He added the assistance for the typhoon-affected residents in Catanduanes is still being finalized, while the EHAP payouts to affected residents in Mimaropa are ongoing.

The Build Back Better Task Force targets to use a science-based approach to ensure post-disaster rehabilitation and recovery efforts of calamity-stricken areas. (PNA