Old Road Sagkahan
This community along the Cancabato Bay will be relocated to a to New Kawayan where they will be provided with a temporary shelter by the city government. File photo isumat.com

TACLOBAN CITY-For Alma Trinidad, she does not mind relocating from her present shanty house at the Old Road Sagkahan district, this city, so long as they could be assured that her family be given a decent house.

Trinidad, 47 and a mother of 4 children, expressed her concern as the city government of Tacloban is set to relocate her and other families living in the said area covering 12 barangays.

The barangays, with a thousand of residents, is located along the Cancabato Bay which experienced a storm surge of five meters during the onslaught of supertyphoon “Yolanda” on November 8, 2013.

This was the reason why these families, including those living on their own properties, need to be relocated on safer grounds especially so that the rainy season is drawing new, Maria Lagman, head of the housing and planning office of the city government.

The families will be relocated beginning next month to New Kawayan, 14 kilometers away from the city center.

After Yolanda pummeled Tacloban, families living within the 40 meters away from the shore or those in the so-called danger zones, are being relocated away from these areas.

According to Lagman, they have already informed the families, all survivors of “Yolanda,” since last month on this plan.

And they gave them an assurance that they would be provided with at least temporary shelter located in the New Kawayan.

Lagman said that about 1,000 families, many still living in tents donated by UNHCR, would be transferred beginning next month to their new temporary shelters which are “bahay kubo” type.

“Actually, we are supposed to start moving these families this month but they requested it to next month instead so that they could finish the santaruzan which is to end on March 31,” Lagman said, referring to the religious activity held every month of May in honor of Virgin Mary.

“They are the priority because four to five meters of storm surge hit these villages. They are the most vulnerable,” Lagman said.

She added that with the expected rainy season by next month, these families need to be provided with more decent houses from their present houses.

The temporary shelters for the affected families are available at the New Kawayan with the city government ready to construct 1,000 units if needed, Lagman said.

At present, there are more than 200 families living in New Kawayan, one of the temporary sites identified by the city government whose houses were totally damaged during the onslaught of Yolanda.

Lagman, however, could not say as to when the construction for the additional houses will start and how much the city government will allocate for this purpose.

While the city government could relocate the poor families in the 12 barangays at Old Road Sagkahan, families living on their own lots could just be persuaded to relocate, if not make their houses sturdier enough to withstand strong typhoons, Lagman said.