Several bunkhouses in Tacloban City undergo modification

TACLOBAN CITY, Feb. 19 (PNA) –Several unoccupied bunkhouses in Tacloban City are undergoing modification, incorporating suggestions of different groups, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) here.

Three sites have been identified for the project in the city but so far only the Motocross Area in Caiba-an village is occupied.

Undergoing some modifications are bunkhouses at the NHA-Sagkahan and at the old depot in Abucay district.

DPWH assistant regional director Edgar Tabacon said that they made sure that contractors utilized specific materials that were cited in the design.

Nonetheless, the official admitted that construction has been delayed due to logistical problems encountered by contractors and bad weather on the later part of December and early of January.

All units were supposed to be completed last month.

However,as of Tuesday, the department completed the turnover of all completed bunkhouses for temporary shelter of typhoon “Yolanda” victims in Eastern Visayas.

Tabacon said that 227 bunkhouses have been completed by their office as of this week. About 135 were turned over to recipients earlier by the infrastructure agency and 92 were handed over on Tuesday.

“Originally, we want to build 500 units, but it seems that local government units have no available lots available for temporary shelters. I think we will only build half of that,” Tabacon said.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assistant regional director Virginia Idano said their agency and the local government units are now identifying priority families for occupancy.

Each unit can accommodate 12 to 24 families depending on the family size. The DSWD estimated that completed units can house 3,000 to 5,000 families, a small chunk of the nearly half million homeless families in the region.

“The total number of temporary shelters cannot even house all families in evacuation centers. We will prioritize families who have no financial capability to build their own shelter,” Idano said.

The DSWD official said that absence of power and water supply prevented immediate transfer of families to bunkhouses.

“It’s the responsibility of local government units to ensure that families in temporary shelters have electricity and access to clean and safe water,” Idano said.

The DPWH said all houses have been installed with water pipes and electrical wires.

Currently, there are about 1,026 families in bunkhouses. Of the total, 673 are in Eastern Samar, 222 in Tacloban City, 81 in Palo in Leyte, and 50 families in Basey in Samar. (PNA)