Network slams poor housing for Yolanda survivors, urge gov’t to build back better

CCNI News Release

November 7, 2014

A newly formed network of NGOs involved in disaster preparedness,
rehabilitation and recovery criticized the government’s failure to
provide decent shelter for survivors of supertyphoon Yolanda
(international name Haiyan).

Citing a report of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for
Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR), only 364 housing units have been
completed by the government in Tacloban and Tanauan, Leyte. According to
the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Eastern Visayas
(DSWD-8), more than 20,000 individuals still live in temporary
bunkhouses in Samar, Leyte, and Eastern Samar provinces.

Independent think-tank Ibon Foundation estimated that 250,000 families
or 1.3 million individuals are still living in uncertain or inadequate
homes such as in evacuation centers, tent cities, bunkhouses and those
who partially rebuilt their homes in the government-declared “no-build”
areas.

The Climate Change Network for Community-Based Initiatives (CCNCI) noted
that the bunkhouses built by government are made of substandard
materials, cramped and unsafe.

Suyin Jamoralin, CCNI convenor, said, “One year after, thousands of our
kababayans in Yolanda-hit areas find it difficult to recover from the
tragedy, receiving little or no aid from government. They remain
insecure in their temporary shelter and have no means for sustainable
livelihood.”

A research by the Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC) in the Eastern
and Western Visayas regions revealed that survivors received little
assistance from government and they relied on local and international
NGOs for support. The CEC, one of the member organizations of the CCNI,
conducted the field research in October in the municipalities of Calbiga
and Marabut, both in Samar; Tanauan and Tacloban City in Leyte; and
Estancia, Iloilo.

In terms of housing, the survivors in these municipalities, except for
Barangay 37 in Tacloban City, have not been offered relocation. However,
the two relocation sites offered by the local government– barangay 37-A
(Palanog Resettlement Area) and Tacloban North in the northern barangay
of Sto. Niño — are hazardous areas. Hazard maps of Tacloban show that
Brgy 37-A stands on a fault line and is a very steep landslide area with
40 to 60% susceptibility. The Tacloban North site, meanwhile, is only
250 meters from the city dumpsite and is exposed to health and safety risks.

Government reports that only some 215,000 families have been given
livelihood support through its short-term ‘Cash for Building Livelihood
Assets.’ The distribution of seedlings and other farm inputs was limited
to lowland farms.

A survey by Ibon Foundation with 1,094 respondents in six Eastern
Visayas provinces shows that 8 out of 10 families earn less than P5,000
on the average every month.

Jamoralin, also executive director of the Citizens’ Disaster Response
Center (CDRC), said both the national and local government must provide
substantial assistance to the survivors of Yolanda.

Jamoralin said that instead of unsafe bunkhouses, survivors should be
provided permanent houses that are typhoon and earthquake resistant. The
CDRC, for one, with the help of international NGOs, is in the process of
building 300 housing units that are resistant to typhoons and earthquake
in the municipalities of Jaro and San Isidro, Leyte.

“There is no other way but to build back better,” Jamoralin said. “The
government must face the reality of climate change. Instead of providing
short-term, band-aid solutions, it must address its impacts in a
comprehensive manner.”

Reference:

Suyin Jamoralin, CCNI convenor | Mobile number: 09328469330 | Email ad:
info@cdrc-phil.com

*CCNCI is composed mainly of four national networks that are engaged in
people-oriented development programs and come from varying disciplines
and expertise, the Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC), Citizens’
Disaster Response Center (CDRC), Philippine Network for Food Security
Programs (PNFSP) and the Advocates for Community Health. Regional and
provincial NGOs such as Kaduami, Center for Development Programs in the
Cordillera (CDPC), Community Empowerment Resource Network (CERNET),
Farmers Development Center (FARDEC), Tuburan, IFI Visayas-Mindanao
Regional Office for Development (IFI-VIMROD), Cordillera Women’s
Education Action Reseach Center (CWEARC) and Integrated Development
Program for Indigenous People (IDPIP) are also members of the network.

Andy Whitmore (Whit)
Indigenous Peoples Links (PIPLinks)
Coordinator
Finspace, 225-229 Seven Sisters Road, London, N4 2DA
Ph: +44 (0)775 439 5597
Email: comms@piplinks.org
Web: http://www.piplinks.org
Skype: mantissa88

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the
intelligent are full of doubt.” – Bertrand Russell