Albay to buy P36-M land as lahar victims’ relocation site

Albay to buy P36-M land as lahar victims’ relocation site

LEGAZPI CITY – The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Albay has approved a resolution allowing the provincial government to buy a 14-hectare lot worth PHP36-million to be used as a relocation site for over 100 families who lost their houses to the past typhoons and lahar flow in Guinobatan town, Albay.

Board member Victor Ziga Jr. in an interview on Thursday said they immediately approved the resolution after they made an on-site inspection of houses that were flattened and some were buried under sand and boulders when lahar flowed to Barangay San Francisco in Guinobatan town when super typhoon Rolly battered Albay on November 1.

Ziga said the relocation site will be built in Barangay Bobolosan, an upland village of Guinobatan.

“We need to urgently relocate them because they are experiencing so many inconveniences inside the evacuation centers. They have been there since they lost their houses to the past typhoons and the lahar flow,” Ziga said.

Ziga said they authorized Governor Al Francis Bichara to sign documents and other contracts in the purchase of the relocation lot.

He said they would closely coordinate with the National Housing Authority (NHA) for the construction of houses at the relocation site.

Senator Richard Gordon has also pledged to help in the construction of houses in Guinobatan, the Albay town perennially affected by lahar and flooding during heavy rains and typhoons.

Ziga said they were moved when they saw the houses buried in boulder, mud, and sand in Barangay San Francisco.

“There is no reason to delay this government intervention of providing houses to our hapless constituents,” Ziga added.

As of Thursday, data from the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (Apsemo) showed that at least 2,615 families or 10,092 persons remain at various evacuation centers in Albay.

The Albay Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) and the respective disaster risk reduction and management offices (DRRMOs) across the province reported that some 23,126 houses were damaged. (PNA)

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