TACLOBAN CITY, (PNA) — The Senate committee on urban planning, housing, and resettlement will continue to monitor the progress of rehabilitation in areas pounded by super typhoon Yolanda last year.
Committee Chair Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito said they will conduct another hearing with regard housing projects for “Yolanda” victims in the middle of 2015 to get updates from national government agencies, especially on efforts in Tacloban City, considered as Yolanda’s ground zero.
“We need to get updates, but we will give government agencies enough time to do their job. It is our mandate to make sure that people get help from the government,” Ejercito said at the conclusion of the three-hour hearing inside the multi-purpose hall of the University of the Philippine Visayas – Tacloban College.
The senator, who belongs to the opposition party, dismissed claims that the hearing is politically-motivated.
“We came here not for political reason, but to help in the recovery. We talk about this without any political agenda. We just want the Yolanda survivors know that we are concern,” he added.
Ejercito thanked National Housing Authority assistant general manager Froilan R. Kampitan and Presidential Assistant for Recovery and Rehabilitation Undersecretary Lesley Jeane Cordero for presenting updates on the housing projects.
Other resource speakers were Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez; Mercedes, Eastern Samar Mayor Enrique Cabos; Sta. Fe, Leyte Mayor Oscar Monteza; People Surge chairperson Efleda Bautista, Department of Public Works and Highways regional director Rolando Asis; and Department of the Interior and Local Government regional director Pedro Noval.
“It has been productive gearing and we are happy to hear words of cooperation. With proper coordination and cooperation, we can move forward,” Ejercito concluded.
Earlier, the senator asked Senate President Franklin Drilon to form an oversight committee that will monitor the progress of rehabilitation efforts in Yolanda-hit provinces.
Joining the hearing were Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Negros Occidental 3rd district Rep. Alfredo Benitez, Quezon City 6th dist. Rep. Jose Christopher Belmonte, and Leyte 1st dist. Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez. (PNA)