national-housing-authorityTACLOBAN CITY — Maydolong town in Eastern Samar province will be the first local government unit in Eastern Visayas to implement housing projects for families displaced by super typhoon “Yolanda.”

Rizalde Mediavillo, National Housing Authority (NHA) Eastern Visayas regional manager, said in an interview on Tuesday that the local government will build 139 permanent housing units.

Maydolong, a fourth class town, is about 168 km northeast from Tacloban, the regional capital.

The absence of interested contractors and two successive bidding failures prompted the NHA to give to local officials the authority to construct houses.

The NHA main office held the last public bidding for Maydolong housing project on August 23, according to Mediavillo.

The NHA has been waiting for a formal letter from the local government unit asking to download needed funds. Each housing unit will cost PHP290,000.

“The letter to NHA is to show that the LGU has the intent to implement the project and that they want the NHA to download the fund to them,” Mediavillo explained.

The NHA will conduct monitoring once the LGU starts the construction of housing projects.

Maydolong town Mayor Henry Afable welcomed the move of NHA.

“The local government is willing to implement the project for as long as the fund is available. We are disappointed that it’s been nearly four years since super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ struck, but no single house was built in our town,” Afable said in a mobile phone interview.

The local government has already found a location for the housing project.

In Eastern Samar, housing project demand under the NHA is 7,573 units but only about 454 units have been completed with only 289 occupied nearly four years after the super typhoon struck.

During her visit to earthquake-hit Kananga town in Leyte last month, Vice President Leni Robredo reiterated her proposal of downloading post-disaster housing funds to local governments.

Robredo said that this is the best solution to fast track the construction of permanent houses because implementing these projects under NHA had caused delays. (PNA)