Expedite construction of houses for Yolanda survivors, Romualdez appeals

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Published : Friday, May 30, 2014 00:00

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HOUSE Independent Minority bloc leader Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez urged the government to expedite the construction of houses for the survivors of super typhoon Yolanda.

The lawmaker made the appeal after a fire broke out in one of the tent cities in Tacloban City wherein a woman and her six children died.

Romualdez called on the administration to prioritize and fast-track the construction of new homes for the survivors of the tragedy before more of them die or get hurt in the tent cities and shelters they live in.

About hundreds of families live in tent city in Bgy. San Jose, Tacloban City for seven months now after the super typhoon struck the province on November 8, 2013..

“I call on the Aquino Government to at least give equal priority to the rehabilitation of Yolanda victims, especially in Leyte,” Romualdez said.

The solon lamented the construction of new shelters moving at a snail’s pace and the lack of reports on when the construction will start.

“But if it’s about the Napoles list and the pork barrel scam suspects, especially if the suspects are from the opposition, we read or hear about it in the media every single day,” he said .

According to Romualdez, the rebuilding of houses for the victims, as well as improving their lives, is as important as Napoles’ case and therefore the government should prioritize fast tracking the program.

“Especially since Yolanda survivors are victims too of the pork barrel scam, having been part of those who had paid the taxes and government fees which was stolen through the fraud,” Romualdez stressed.

Romualdez said the Minority bloc will initiate a House inquiry into the government’s rehabilitation efforts for the Yolanda victims.

“With emphasis on where are, and how the rehabilitation funds plus the thousands of tons of relief goods spent or disbursed. Yolanda victims definitely do not deserve this very low priority from the government,” Romualdez said.


WITH or without Pope Francis’ visit to “Ground Zero” in Tacloban City,  rehabilitation and rebuilding efforts are being rushed to avoid future fires that killed seven Yolanda survivors, mostly children.

Reports earlier said that Pope Francis is set to visit the country on January next year for a personal look on the devastation brought by Yolanda and see the victims of the super typhoon.

“Ginagawa at patuloy na sinisikap ng pamahalaan na pahusayin, pabilisin at mas maging ganap at epektibo lahat ng mga pinapatupad na programa bilang pagtulong at pagkalinga sa ating mga kapatid na mamamayan na nasalanta nung kalamidad. At ito ay ginagawa araw-araw, oras-oras at hindi po tayo nakatingin lamang sa kung sino ba ang bibisita. Mas importante po sa atin ‘yung mabigyan ng agaran at epektibong pagtugon ‘yung mga pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan,” Presidential Communications secretary Sonny Coloma Jr. yesterday said.

Coloma disputed claims that  red tape and slow rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts caused the death of a mother and her six children in a fire that hit a tent community for Yolanda survivors in Tacloban.

“We must acknowledge the breadth, depth and complexity of the task at hand, and it would not be responsible to simply blame government because this is something that can be empirically determined,” Coloma told Palace reporters.

Coloma said the Palace was saddened upon learning of the said news, even as he said that President Benigno S. Aquino III wants to ensure more responsive  system, including safety precautions being implemented at the temporary shelters like the Tent City, as well as the well being and safety of the dwellers.

Jester Manalastas, Efren Montano



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