Over 400 homes for Yolanda victims in Pilar, Cebu

·3 min read

IT WAS eight years ago today, November 8, 2021, when super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) walloped northern Cebu.

Now the National Housing Authority (NHA) has brought good news for the people of Pilar town who were affected by the calamity.

On Thursday, November 4, 2021, the NHA-Central Visayas held the groundbreaking for the construction of 406 housing units in a development called the Ponson Island Permanent Housing Project located in Barangay Cawit, the agency announced in a post shared on its Facebook page.

Since Pilar has a population of just 12,506, according to the 2020 census of the Philippine Statistics Authority, 406 housing units is a big deal.

The event was led by NHA Regional Manager Hermes Jude Juntilo and Pilar Mayor Manuel Santiago.

Jejors Construction Corp. will undertake the project, which is envisioned to be completed in the first half of next year.

Situated on Ponson Island in the Camotes Sea, Pilar was among the 15 northern Cebu towns and one city devastated by typhoon Yolanda on Nov. 8, 2013.

The 16 hard-hit areas were Santa Fe, Bantayan, Madridejos, Daanbantayan, Medellin, San Remigio, Tabogon, Tuburan, Tabuelan, Borbon, Sogod; San Francisco, Poro, Tudela and Pilar in the Camotes Islands; and Bogo City.

A month after the storm, it was determined that about 31,000 families who lived within the no-build zone (all areas within 40 meters from the shoreline) in these areas would need to be relocated.

The NHA also identified over 103,000 families in Cebu whose houses had been damaged or destroyed.

In November 2020, seven years after the super typhoon, the NHA-Central Visayas said only 9,800 of the 20,700 permanent housing units the agency had been tasked to build in these areas had been completed.

Only five of the completed houses were in the Camotes Islands.

This year, however, the NHA-Central Visayas, with urging and help from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Yolanda, has stepped up its efforts to start and complete the housing units promised in these areas.

IATF Yolanda is headed by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles and co-chaired by Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Dino.

Last April, the NHA-Central Visayas turned over 750 housing units in Madridejos town.

Authorities said 30 percent of the town residents had lost their homes, while the remaining 70 percent of Madridejos residents had had their roofs detached during the onslaught of the typhoon.

The housing beneficiaries were those whose houses had been destroyed by the typhoon, residents living in no-build zones and single parents.

Last September, the NHA-Central Visayas also started turning over 750 free housing units to Yolanda survivors in Bogo City.

Groundbreaking at housing sites in Cebu has also progressed.

Last March, the NHA-Central Visayas had a groundbreaking in Sogod town for the Sogod Permanent Housing Project that would hold 314 units spread across 2.36 hectares of land in Barangay Takay.

This project was set for completion in 245 days, the agency said.

Last November 5, the agency also broke ground in Tudela town for the construction of 158 housing units at the Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Homes in Sitio Kanlipot, Barangay Calmante.

Completion was targeted for the first semester of 2022.

Super typhoon Yolanda, the strongest storm to make landfall in recorded history, struck eight regions in the country on Nov. 8, 2013, hitting the Visayas regions the hardest.

It claimed at least 6,000 lives in the Philippines, and left more than 1,000 people missing. Nationwide, it destroyed or damaged over a million homes, displacing four million people.

Last Sept. 30, NHA general manager Marcelino Escalada Jr. informed President Rodrigo Duterte that the agency had completed 148,000 of the 204,000 housing units targeted as of 2014 for Yolanda survivors nationwide.

He said 24,526 more units were targeted for completion by December, and 21,574 by the end of Duterte’s term in June 2022.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting