MANILA, Sept. 19 — The National Housing Authority and the Inter-agency Task Force for the Unified Implementation and Monitoring of Rehabilitation and Recovery Projects and Programs in the Yolanda-affected Areas or Task Force Yolanda made back-to-back turnovers of housing units in areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda as part of the continuing effort of the Duterte administration to fulfill its commitment to those affected by the calamity.

“The accelerated pace of these turnovers of the Yolanda Permanent Housing Project in Cebu province and the Eastern Visayas Region is the result of the cooperation of national and local governments to complete the units and to be enjoyed by the beneficiaries at the soonest possible time,” said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, Chair of Task Force Yolanda.

The Malacañang official stressed that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the partner agencies and LGUs worked non-stop and exhibited exemplary dedication to deliver needed social services to the public.

“Last July 28, we had our very first virtual turnover of 1,831 completed housing units in Cebu province. And as of June 2020, for the target of 20,700 housing units for Cebu, 7,465 units have already been finished and 9,413 units are ongoing construction,” explained Nograles.

Then came a continuous string of turnovers of Yolanda Permanent Housing Projects in Region 8, which includes the following areas in Eastern Visayas: Ormoc City (1,419 units), Cabucgayan, Biliran (258 units), Almeria in Biliran (405 units), and Tacloban City (4,193 units).

Last September 16, 1,000 units were distributed in Basey, Samar, while on Friday, September 18, 2020, another distribution of 187 units in Burauen, Leyte.

Based on NHA statistics, as of June 30, 2020, out of 54,508 housing units allocated for Region 8, 35,462 units have been completed and 10,877 are ongoing construction.

“President Duterte has ordered an acceleration in the distribution of these Yolanda Permanent Housing Projects before his term ends. Local and national agencies, as well as stakeholders, are all keeping pace and providing safe and quality houses to Yolanda victims,” stressed the former Davao legislator.

The Cabinet Secretary added that aside from the free housing, facilities for sustainable livelihood would also be created in the resettlement sites to enable families to “build a better future, especially for children.”

“People need social safety nets and steady sources of livelihood. Any community would not be viable without these. That is why we are equally focused on these necessities,” Nograles explained.

“Three basic services are needed, which we will all address. Schooling for the youth, health services particularly for women and dependent members of the family, and funding for key livelihood projects. We are coordinating with the DepEd, DOH, and DSWD for these initiatives.”

Nograles further emphasized that “Our aim is to provide comprehensive and doable solutions. We will see these programs through and ensure that these communities are rebuilt and made stronger through the efforts of the Duterte administration.”

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