It has been 3 years since Supertyphoon Yolanda destroyed a huge portion of Visayas in the Philippines but the current administration led by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte was shocked to find out that only a small percentage of the houses promised for the victims had actually been built – and many are unoccupied because there are no basic utilities available for the homeowners to use.
Angered over this matter, Duterte issued a directive while attending the third ‘Yolanda’ commemoration ceremony for Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Sec. Michael Diño and housing czar Vice President Leni Robredo to ensure that all these houses must be finished and all victims housed by December – a very tall order considering that the old administration wasn’t even able to complete half of the projects in 3 years.
Eighteen days after Duterte issued his directive, the first batch of Yolanda victims in Tacloban City visited their homes for the first time. Armed with cleaning materials, they began preparing their homes for the scheduled transfer.
Diño’s team ensured that there water is available in these villages and that provisions for electricity have been provided.
But Diño isn’t only focusing in Tacloban. In fact, the secretary has been making rounds in the Yolanda-affected areas to check on the status of the other housing projects being made there. Sadly, it would soon become apparent that they wouldn’t be able to complete the homes and move all the affected people within Duterte’s deadline but they are not giving up.
In Bantayan Island, for example, construction was stopped after environmentalists were able to secure a TRO in line with their petition to prevent any building or man-made structure from being built on the island as this was declared as a wilderness area under Presidential Proclamation 1521 (incidentally issued by the late President Ferdinand Marcos).