NHA approves P639.660 million for Palawan Yolanda survivors

jPUERTO PRINCESA CITY—The National Housing Authority (NHA) and Palawan Gov. Jose Ch. Alvarez signed on Thursday a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that would provide an initial amount of P639,660,000 for the construction of housing units for Supertyphoon Yolanda survivors in five towns in the province.

The MOA signing was done during the Rehabilitation After Yolanda Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan Implementation and Monitoring and Validation Forum at the VJR Hall of the Provincial Capitol with Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (Oparr) rehab czar; and representatives from various government agencies, civic groups and other stakeholders in attendance.

Susan Nonato, NHA manager for Southern Luzon and the Bicol region, said the initial amount is for the construction of 2,326 houses for Yolanda survivors in Coron, Culion, Linapacan, Busuanga and Agutaya.

The housing project starts with the MOA signing, Nonato said, and should be completed in 10 months.

She added that the number of houses is part of the 8,760 that the NHA will build for Yolanda survivors in Palawan with a budget of P1 billion. To star the housing project, she said the NHA is ready to download 15 percent of the initial fund for mobilization in the said areas.

The release of the balance, on the other hand, is dependent on the accomplishment of the project.

The remaining 6,434 houses will follow, but no specific date was given during the MOA signing.

Each house will have an area of 40 square meter, out of which 22 sq m will be the living space for family beneficiaries. They will also come with livelihood projects.

“Palawan is very lucky to have a governor who has a lot of will, has a lot of heart and has a lot of wealth. His kind of attitude is what we need in the rehabilitation effort,” Lacson said, as he lauded Alvarez for the extra effort to ensure that Yolanda survivors in the province are not left behind in the implementation of the CRRP.

During the forum, Lacson was asked about observations that rebuilding efforts in Yolanda-affected areas seem sluggish. He explained in context that the task of the Oparr was to coordinate implementations, but it does not control the handling of the budget.

“Let me put the answer in the proper context. It’s probably slow in the sense that implementations just started under the CRRP after the President’s approval,” he said, with it coming from the Local Government Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan, or submissions by local governments that were aligned and reconciled with the action plans of the infrastructure, livelihood, resettlement, social services and support clusters.

“We must remember…. I’d like to remind everyone that our job is coordination. We do not have a role in the implementation; we do not have a role in the handling of the budget. As a matter of fact, even my office has no budget….having said that, that is the right context,” Lacson responded.

After President Aquino approved the CRRP last October 29, he said P50 billion was approved for 2014 and released to implementing agencies, such as NHA for the resettlement cluster, the departments of Public Works and Highways for the infrastructure cluster, Trade and Industry for livelihood, and Social Welfare and Development for social-services cluster.

Read more: http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/nha-approves-p639-660-million-for-palawan-yolanda-survivors/

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