Redesign to delay construction of temporary housing

Reconstruction in areas in the central Philippines where Typhoon Haiyan (local name:Yolanda) demolished infrastructure in November is facing delays, with the government choosing to redesign some temporary housing after construction had started, officials say.

The government is building bunk houses to temporarily house tens of thousands of victims, many of who are still living in evacuation centers and tent cities two months after the typhoon hit.

On Monday, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson said the design of the bunk houses has been changed to take into account the recommendations of various international experts who have visited typhoon-devastated areas.

Mr. Singson said he had met with and received suggestions for improvements from “at least 10 different [United Nations] organizations, “ and was adapting the bunk houses based on that advice.

The redesign, which increases the living space in each unit and improves ventilation, has affected the pace of building since adjustments had to be made after construction began, he said, noting that construction of more permanent shelters is likely to extend beyond the current president’s term.

President Benigno Aquino III will leave office in June 2016. Following the massive storm that struck the central part of the country last November, he promised to provide permanent housing for victims as soon as possible.

But Mr. Singson told reporters that the goal could not be met given the scale of devastation and the need for new shelters in other areas hit by earlier disasters.

“We can say that we are doing our best to complete whatever we can do in the remaining two and half years,” he said at a press briefing.

Mr. Singson, who has a reputation for completing public works projects ahead of time and under budget, said it would take three to four years to complete the shelter program.

Haiyan is the deadliest storm in the Philippines’ modern history. It has so far claimed more than 6,100 lives and displaced 4.1 million people. The typhoon has also damaged 1.14 million houses, half of which are have been completely destroyed.

Aside from areas destroyed by the typhoon, the government is also building shelters for victims of earlier calamities. Those include the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol, also in the central Philippines, in October and a weeks-long stand-off between Muslim rebels and government forces in Zamboanga City in the September that displaced around 100,000 people.

The government has set aside P100 billion ($2.2 billion) in its 2014 budget for reconstruction of the areas impacted by Haiyan. Officials estimate that it will cost around $8 billion to fund the reconstruction effort over the next four years.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • South Korea decriminalises adultery, condom shares soar
    South Korea decriminalises adultery, condom shares soar

    South Korea's Constitutional Court on Thursday struck down a controversial adultery law which for more than 60 years had criminalised extra-marital sex and jailed violators for up to two years. The decision saw shares in the South Korean firm Unidus Corp., one of the world's largest condom manufacturers, soar by the daily limit of 15 percent on the local stock exchange. "Even if adultery should be condemned as immoral, state power should not intervene in individuals' private lives," said …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • U.S. flies most advanced surveillance plane from Philippines

    By Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - The United States has begun flying its most advanced surveillance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, out of the Philippines for patrols over the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday, acknowledging the flights for the first time. The United States, the Philippines' oldest and closest ally, has promised to share "real time" information on what is happening in Philippine waters as China steps up its activities in the South China Sea. China claims most of …

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts
    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. …

  • National Geographic 'Afghan girl' in Pakistan papers probe
    National Geographic 'Afghan girl' in Pakistan papers probe

    Pakistani officials are investigating after the famous green-eyed "Afghan girl" immortalised in a 1985 National Geographic magazine cover was found living in the country on fraudulent identity papers. The haunting image of the then 12-year-old Sharbat Gula, taken in a refugee camp by photographer Steve McCurry, became the most famous cover image in the magazine's history. Now Pakistani officials say that Gula applied for a Pakistani identity card in the northwestern city of Peshawar in April …

  • IS executioner 'Jihadi John' named as London graduate
    IS executioner 'Jihadi John' named as London graduate

    "Jihadi John", the masked Islamic State group militant believed responsible for beheading of at least five Western hostages, has been named as Kuwaiti-born computing graduate Mohammed Emwazi from London. "Jihadi John", nicknamed after Beatle John Lennon due to his British accent, is believed to be responsible for the murders of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning and American aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig. …

  • ‘Noy angered by previous SAF failures to get Marwan’
    ‘Noy angered by previous SAF failures to get Marwan’

    Supt. Raymund Train, who led the SAF team that killed Marwan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25, recounted in a sworn statement the meeting he and senior SAF officers had with Aquino in Malacañang on Nov. 30. Train said among the senior officers who attended the meeting were then PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima, SAF chief Director Getulio Napeñas, SAF deputy commander Chief Supt. Noli Taliño and intelligence group chief Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options