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The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), with the National Housing Authority (NHA), started the “Resettlement Cluster Shelter Forum: Accelerating LGU Housing Projects for Yolanda” initially in Tacloban City during the last quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 in the cities of Cebu, Iloilo, and Bacolod.
Sec. Gen. Cecilia S. Alba, who represented HUDCC and Resettlement Cluster Chairman Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, emphasized that the Shelter For a aimed to fast-track the implementation of the housing projects of the 116 local government units (LGUs) in 14 provinces for the 205,127 families affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
The series of consultations that the Resettlement Cluster continuously undertake, according to Panfilo Lacson, former head of the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR), will help in the construction of the 75 billion peso-worth of shelters to be funded under the approved Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP).
“It is better to identify the issues and concerns in an open forum… to find solutions and resolutions rather than wait for them to happen, when we are not ready to confront them,” Lacson reiterated, thus reminding the implementers that they must be ready to make wise and practical adjustments if necessary.
Froilan R. Kampitan (Assistant General Manager), Elsie B. Trinidad (Manager, RDSD), Ivanswenda V. Marquez (Manager, CRIOD), Sylvia L. Briones (Division Manager, CRIOD), and Evangelina I. Equipaje (Manager, LDD) discussed the NHA permanent housing program focusing on the Housing Framework for Calamity Victims, Organization of Provincial/ Local Inter-Agency (Prov/LIAC), Social Preparation, and Community Development and Livelihood, respectively. NHA Project Implementation Team (NPIT) Heads Arch. Susana V. Nonato (NPIT-A), Engr. Felicisimo F. Lazarte, Jr. (NPIT-B), and Lorna M. Seraspe (NPIT-C) also represented their respective areas to update the LGUs on the status of Yolanda Housing Projects. Meanwhile, Manuel P. Aurelio, Jr., NPIT Chairman, joined the session in Bacolod City.
Aside from the NHA, other government agencies such as the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) attended the fora.
Cong. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez, Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Committee of the 16th Congress, also present during one of the fora, likewise told the participants that building and sustaining communities tend to be challenging and difficult.
Schedule for the succeeding forum for the five Palawan LGUs is yet to be announced.