MANILA — Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said on Sunday the government housing agencies are targeting to complete some 120,000 housing units in 2015 for families displaced by typhoon “Yolanda” in November 2013.
Binay, chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and head of the Yolanda Resettlement Cluster, said that as of December 2014, PhP 13.4 billion had been released for the construction of 46,129 housing units.
Out of the housing units, a total of 37,500 have already been bid out and awarded.
“By the end of 2015, we plan to provide disaster-resilient housing in safer communities to families living in high-risk and hazardous areas,” Binay said.
He said said an additional PhP 1.3 billion has also been approved for release and another PhP 7.99 billion approved supplemental budget will generate an additional 31,752 housing units.
“These projects have been bid out and ready for award but could not be awarded yet pending release of funds to the National Housing Authority,” he added.
According to Binay, a total of 205,128 houses are needed for “Yolanda” victims in 116 cities/municipalities.
At the end of 2014, key shelter agencies have already completed a total of 2,100 housing units.
Binay admitted that the government housing agencies are facing several issues which hamper the implementation of the “Yolanda” housing project.
One of these problems is the difficulty in identifying land suitable for housing with appropriate environmental clearances.
“Administrative Order No. 44 was issued on October 28 which is expected to fast-track the issuance of clearances and permits. However, some concerned agencies are still crafting their respective IRRs while others have just recently started operationalizing their processes,” Binay said.
Another problem is that municipalities like Camotes Island in Cebu are still classified as reserved land.
“In the case of these areas, we are still waiting for a Presidential Proclamation that will carve out areas that can be used for housing,” Binay said.
Meanwhile, Binay also recognized the need to fast-track the operationalization of Local Inter-Agency Committees (LIACs) as the central planning, implementation and monitoring committee for permanent housing projects.
“Regional Resettlement Clusters have been established and regional shelter fora with mayors have been conducted to facilitate the process,” Binay said.