MANILA, June 16, 2015— The church’s social action arm is elated over the deferment of a supposed plan to evict Yolanda survivors who are still living in Tacloban City’s danger zones.
Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, said it is a welcome development that there will be no relocation until permanent shelters are made.
“We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and the city council for heeding our people’s call not to forcibly transfer them until permanent shelters are available,” he said.
Gariguez made the statement after the Tacloban City Council assured, in a resolution, that there will be no eviction until permanent shelters are available.
The church agency earlier reported that the city government is planning to evict around 3,000 families living in danger zones and transfer them to a site where basics like water, electricity, and jobs are “grim”.
They will stay there for at least two years, while they wait for the construction of permanent houses by the National Housing Authority (NHA) and non-government organizations.
Romualdez, however, denied the report, stressing he is against forced eviction without proper relocation.
The mayor also clarified that they would only be implementing voluntary transfer to those who wish to avail of the 200 temporary housing units available in the northern villages.
So far, the NHA is planning to construct about 14,333 permanent housing units in the northern part of Tacloban.
According to the NHA, 3,000 to 5,000 of these permanent houses are expected to be completed before the year ends. (CBCPNews)