Tacloban City, Leyte – As part of the activities to commemorate the first year anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda, several cabinet secretaries were here on Saturday, November 8, to lead the turnover of completed permanent shelter units to typhoon survivors.
Some 122 housing units in Ridge View Park, Barangay Cabalawan and 28 units in Villa Sofia, Barangay Tagpuro were distributed to survivors who were drawn at random.
These permanent houses, which also have complete electric and water facilities, are part of a tie-up project of the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the city government.
It was initially agreed that the certificates of occupancy will be handed over by Mayor Alfred Romualdez and NHA General Manager Chito Cruz to the beneficiaries as part of the partnership of the local government unit (LGU) and NHA, with Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Secretary Panfilo Lacson of the Office of Presidential Assistant for Recovery and Rehabilitation (OPARR), and Secretary Rogelio Singson of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) witnessing the distribution.
However, Mayor Romualdez was not able to attend the 1:30 pm event so he sent City Administrator Atty. Jenny Lyn Polistico-Manibay and Maria Lagman, the head of the Shelter Cluster of the LGU, instead.
Sec. Soliman observed that the event exuded a positive atmosphere with the survivors looking forward to live in their new houses.
Marissa Abraham, 40, one of the beneficiaries of a unit in Ridge View said, “Safe na kami sa baha. Salamat sa tulong na pabahay ng gobyerno (We are now safe from floods. Thanks to the shelter assistance of the government).”
Another beneficiary, Emma Tambulungan, also expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to start anew.
“Salamat sa gobyerno sa panibagong bahay at buhay na matatamasa namin (Thank you to the government for this house that will help us start anew),” she shared.
Sec. Soliman encouraged the survivors saying, “Patuloy po kaming tutulong at sasabay sa inyo sa pag-unlad. Tayo ay sama-samang tatawid palagpas sa kahirapan (We will continue to help and walk with you towards development. Together, we will fight poverty).”
For his part, Sec. Lacson reminded the beneficiaries to value what have been given them.
“Tuloy pa rin ang tulong na ibibigay ng gobyerno sa hanapbuhay bukod sa pabahay. Kaya tulong-tulong tayong mahalin natin itong pabahay (Aside from shelter assistance, livelihood assistance will continue to be provided. So, let’s take care of these houses),” he said. ###