TACLOBAN CITY — As of the first half of 2017, about P11.25 billion of government funds meant for rehabilitation projects for areas devastated by the Super Typhoon “Yolanda” remains untouched after almost four years.
According to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the latest Yolanda progress report showed that only P20.94 billion of the P32.19 billion had been disbursed to implementing government agencies.
From the total funds released, the social services cluster has the highest share of P8.71 billion, then resettlement with P6.09 billion, followed by infrastructure with P4.28 billion and livelihood with P1.86 billion.
NEDA Eastern Visayas Regional Director Bonifacio Uy said that more than three years after Yolanda struck the region, there are still issues and concerns that impede the smooth and fast implementation of programs and projects in Region 8.
The report also divulged five major issues in carrying out post-disaster projects that are related to relocation efforts namely the following:
Delay in the construction of permanent housing projects in this city and other typhoon-hit areas;
Substandard housing units;
Poor access to water and power in resettlement sites;
Livelihood assistance to newly-transferred families;
And the absence of permanent school building near housing sites.
NEDA revealed that there only 15,422 houses out of 56,140 target for Eastern Visayas have been built; this is according to the report from the National Housing Authority (NHA).
Some of the major setbacks included unavailable lots, land acquisition issues, procurement concerns, and lack of qualified contractors.
Uy stated that the national government and regional officials have been working closely to complete all ongoing projects within three years.