Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, together with officers of Task Force Yolanda and the National Housing Authority, led the distribution of free housing units to beneficiaries in Sta. Fe, Leyte on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 and made a firm commitment that the Duterte administration will finish all Yolanda housing commitments by 2022.
The turnover of 500 housing units was done virtually, and was the 31st online distribution ceremony under the Yolanda Permanent Housing Project.
Since assuming the chairmanship of the Inter-agency Task Force for the Unified Implementation and Monitoring of Rehabilitation and Recovery Projects and Programs in Yolanda-affected Areas, Nograles has turned over 17,572 houses to different municipalities in Region 8.
The houses are located in these areas: Almeria, Biliran (405 units); Basey, Samar (1,000 units); Baybay, Leyte (356 units); Biliran, Biliran (1,265 units); Burauen, Leyte (187 units); Cabucgayan, Biliran (258 units); Carigara, Leyte (2,285 units); Gen. MacArthur, Eastern Samar (234 units); Guiuan, Eastern Samar (610 units); Inopacan, Leyte (133 units); MacArthur, Leyte (112 units); Mercedes, Eastern Samar (139 units); Ormoc City, Leyte (1,419 units); Quinapondan, Eastern Samar (623 units); Tacloban City, Leyte (8,046 units); and the latest one in Sta. Fe, Leyte (500 units).
The Malacañang official commended the National Housing Authority for its crucial role in the project, specifically for ensuring the timely turnover of the units to the intended local government unit despite the challenges posed by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“We recognize the efforts of NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr., Regional Manager Engr. Dodong Antiniero, OIC-Leyte District Officer Engr. Silverio Gempeson, Jr., Mayor Amparo Monteza, Vice Mayor Ismael Lantajo, Sangguniang Bayan members and other municipal officers, as well as representatives from EDLY Construction headed by Mr. Ruben Cinco, for a job well done. They all heeded the call of President Duterte to expedite construction and deliver the units at the quickest possible period without sacrificing quality and safety.”
The Cab Sec added, “We are also celebrating Women’s Month, and we give due recognition to the women of Sta. Fe for helping maintain unity in the community, and also for their efforts of positively guiding children and young people during these challenging times.”
Nograles, who likewise chairs the administration’s Task Force Zero Hunger, noted that “the communities we build have sufficient basic amenities and facilities such as water and electricity. Through our partnership with Pilpinas Kontra Gutom and Bayer Philippines, we also plan to convert idle land and transform them into areas where nutritious food can be grown both for consumption and commerce.“
This effort, the Cab Sec stated, was in line with his advocacy to combat hunger and poverty, especially in Yolanda-affected areas.
For his part, Mayor Monteza thanked President Rodrigo Duterte, Nograles and the NHA “for the precious gift of housing. We will forever be grateful for this blessing, given at a time when our constituents needed shelter and livelihood most. We will do everything to deserve what our leaders gave us and build strong, resilient communities.”