Government has funds to build new settlements for victims of Typhoon ‘Yolanda’, says official

MANILA, Oct. 30 (PNA) — The government has the funds and is ready to build new settlements for victims of Typhoon “Yolanda” but the challenge is finding the right location to construct those new houses, a Palace official has said.

“The NHA (National Housing Authority) is prepared to do so much housing units. We have the funds for that. Again, the issue here is always on the local government side,” said Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda during a press briefing in Malacañang on Thursday.

Lacierda said local government units have to identify the land on which the permanent housing structures will be built but they have to ensure that the new location is safe from storm surges.

The government, he said, also wants to ensure that the housing structures could withstand typhoons as strong as “Yolanda”.

Upon the recommendation of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery, President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday approved the P167.9-billion Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP) for communities devastated by Typhoon “Yolanda”.

The 8,000-page rehabilitation plan outlines the government’s commitment to carry out more than 25,000 specific plans, programs and activities, said Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.

Coloma said that according to the Office of the Executive Secretary, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P51.98 billion since November 2013.

The money came from the national budget, as authorized by the General Appropriations Act. (PNA)