Tanauan, Leyte Mayor Pelagio Tecson Jr.

TANAUAN, Leyte, (PNA) – Half of badly-hit families living in danger zones have already been moved to permanent relocation sites, almost two years after super typhoon Yolanda’s fierce winds and storm surges flattened this coastal town.

Of the 800 families identified in no dwelling zones, 400 have already been transferred to concrete houses in two relocation sites in Pago and Sacme villages, said Mayor Pelagio Tecson.

“Our bias has been to support permanent relocation of victims. By November 8, the number of families in resettlement sites will be 450,” Tecson said. The town has been identified as model in the post-Yolanda rehabilitation in central Philippines.

Aside from the two sites, several houses are now under construction in a separate relocation area in Maribi village. The first few batches will be turned over within this week, according to Tecson.

The pace of transfer was slower than expected due to construction materials shortage, shortage of potable water supply in relocation sites, refusal of some households to move due to livelihood-related concerns.

The home rebuilding initiative is a joint project of the National Housing Authority, Gawad Kalinga (GK), Tanauan local government unit, some private companies, and Department of Public Works and Highways.

Under the agreement, the NHA provides fund from donors for land development, prepare site engineering development plan, finance housing construction, and carry out survey works.

The local government unit assisted GK in land acquisition, monitor project implementation, identify and screen project beneficiaries, and dispose of housing units.

The DPWH constructed access road to the housing site from the national highway and prepared engineering plans and cost estimates.

Each family is provided with a 36 square meter (sq m) lot size with a floor area of 22 sq m.

Housing units are intended for badly-hit families in high risk zones of San Roque, Sto. Niño, Cabuynan and Bislig villages.

Tanauan, a town located 19 kilometers south of Tacloban, is one of the badly hit area by Yolanda, that left 1,600 dead and 300 missing. (PNA)