MANILA—A Senator on Monday said that there is “renewed hope” that under the current administration, the resettlement of all survivors of super typhoon “Yolanda” will move faster to full recovery.
Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito made this remark citing how the production of housing units have increased dramatically since Pres. Rodrigo Duterte appointed Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco and Undersecretary Wendel Avisado to head the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the Yolanda Rehabilitation efforts, respectively.
“I am confident that these gentlemen will perform their best to keep the President’s promise of free housing, under usufruct arrangement, for the Yolanda survivors,” Ejercito said.
Ejercito, chair of the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement, said that free housing was already a relief from the burden shouldered by the Yolanda survivors.
The senator meanwhile urged the government to work towards reducing loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters.
He suggested setting up a permanent disaster agency attached to the proposed Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development to be more effective in disaster mitigation, addressing emergency situations and providing immediate evacuation, shelter, housing and community rehabilitation.
“Such an agency could help reduce the cycle of disaster damage and lessen the impact on our human and financial resources,” Ejercito said.
He further said another challenge was to start investing in making more resilient houses, buildings, schools and communities.
“I think it is high time to update our building requirements and standards, including a review of design, materials, methods of construction and workmanship. It seems change is the only way to ensure our survival,” he added.