Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles (File photo)
MANILA – The national government has completed its housing project in areas affected by 2013 Super Typhoon Yolanda in Ormoc City, a Palace official said Thursday.
The Yolanda Permanent Housing Project involves the construction of housing units in Bagong Pag-asa Subdivision Phase 1 and 419 units in Bagong Pag-asa Subdivision Phase 2, located in Barangay Margen.
During a virtual ceremony led by the National Housing Authority (NHA) Region 8 office, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles witnessed the turnover of 1,419 housing units to their respective beneficiaries.
Nograles is chairman of Task Force Yolanda or the Inter-agency Task Force for the Unified Implementation and Monitoring of Rehabilitation and Recovery Projects and Programs in the Yolanda-affected Areas.
“I’m very pleased to announce to the people of Ormoc City that we have already completed 100 percent of our free housing commitments here. This is a result of unity, cooperation and perseverance among the national government and local leaders to benefit the victims of Typhoon Yolanda,” he said in a statement.
Nograles lauded those involved in finishing the project despite the challenges posed by the prevailing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Work was sustained and non-stop, and now we see the fruits of everyone’s labor,” he added.
According to Nograles, the government continues to coordinate with various government agencies in fulfilling the administration’s objective of delivering quality housing to calamity victims.
“President Rodrigo Duterte gave clear and urgent instructions to continue addressing the needs of our people and expedite the completion of these units before his term ends. We have achieved that objective,” he said.
Nograles thanked Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez, Vice Mayor Toto Locsin and the city councilors, as well as Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez for their support and invaluable assistance to the success of the project.
He also congratulated NHA Region 8 team under Regional Manager Engr. Dodong Antiniero, local government officials and other public sector participants.
“They have shown dedication and a true sense of sacrifice in making the dreams of housing for Yolanda victims a reality,” he said.
Meanwhile, he also expressed hope that beneficiaries would immediately occupy and use the housing units.
“All we want is the safety and security of our people. A roof under their heads and a refuge from calamities is a lasting gift that anyone will appreciate. Government will continue serving the people of Ormoc, Eastern Visayas and other parts of the country,” he said.
As of June, the NHA said that out of 54,508 housing units allocated for Region 8, 35,462 units have already been delivered. There is ongoing construction for an additional 10,877, all amounting to an 85 percent accomplishment rate.
Despite the ongoing health crisis, Nograles noted that the government is on track this month to conduct virtual turnovers for Eastern Visayas, specifically for Cabucgayan, Biliran, and Almeria in Biliran province, Tacloban City, Baybay City and Basey in Samar.
Gomez, who led the virtual turnover to the housing beneficiaries, gave thanks to the NHA and everybody else who contributed to making the project a success.
“We hope that the assistance from the national government doesn’t end here. Our residents need more housing. We’re truly grateful for this free gift to the people of Ormoc,” he said. (PNA)