Typhoon Yolanda victims in Tudela to get homes at last

·3 min read

NEARLY eight years after super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) displaced them, more than 100 families in Tudela town, Cebu have been awarded the right to settle into new homes.

The National Housing Authority (NHA)-Central Visayas on Friday, November 5, 2021, broke ground for the construction of 158 housing units that will be given to the families at the Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Homes in Sitio Kanlipot, Barangay Calmante.

And this was also the occasion for the raffle and awarding of the housing units led by Tudela Mayor Greman Solante and NHA Regional Manager Hermes Jude Juntilo.

The NHA-Central Visayas announced that the efforts of the Inter-Agency Task Force-Yolanda headed by Secretary Karlo Nograles and the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas headed by Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino helped push the project forward.

Steadfast Builders Corp. and Prime Giga Builders Construction Corp. will complete the housing units by the first half of 2022.

Aside from building the houses through the local government unit, the NHA will provide livelihood training, as well as gender and development programs, to improve the socio-economic status of the homes’ future beneficiaries.

Tudela is among the 15 northern Cebu towns devastated by typhoon Yolanda on Nov. 8, 2013.

The NHA-Central Visayas was tasked to build a total of 17,281 houses for the Yolanda victims in the most severely hit 15 towns and one city in Cebu.

But five years later, or in November 2018, the NHA revealed that it had yet to build a single one of the 258 houses it had been tasked to build in Tudela.

With the Department of Budget and Management giving the NHA only until December 31, 2018 to complete the project or return the remaining funds to the national treasury, the NHA said then that it was entering into memorandums of agreement (MOA) for the local government units (LGU) to continue the housing projects.

Once the MOA between the NHA and the LGUs were signed, the funds would be downloaded to their respective governments and the projects would continue.

Engineer Constancio Antiniero, chief of the NHA Province of Cebu, said then that a MOA had been signed between the NHA and the municipality of Tudela to transfer the funds to its local coffers so that its 258 housing units could be built.

In 2019, the original total housing unit allocation for some LGUs, mostly island towns, was reduced due to the request of the LGUs to raise the budget allocated for each housing unit due to cost adjustment and variation orders.

Among the LGUs that reduced their number of house allocations were the towns of Bantayan, San Francisco, Poro, Tudela and Pilar.

Last September, the NHA also turned over a total of 750 free housing units to Bogo City residents who lost their homes to Yolanda, and to families living in danger zones.

Each of the 40-square-meter houses came with its own electricity and water connection.

The houses are within the 5.83-hectare development called St. Vincent Ferrer Homes 1, which is also home to families who were relocated from accident and calamity-prone areas like coastal areas, landslide-prone areas and flood-prone areas.

On April 29, 2021, the NHA also turned over 750 housing units to families left homeless by Yolanda in Madridejos town.

Some P6.5 billion had been allocated for NHA Cebu for the construction of housing units for Yolanda survivors. Around 9,800 of these units were completed as of November 2020, or seven years after the typhoon hit Cebu.

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