Red tape delays Tacloban rebuild

May 25, 2014 - 12:44:16 am

MANILA:  Six months after super typhoon Haiyan devastated Tacloban City, not a single permanent housing unit has been built by the national government.

City Mayor Alfred Romualdez said “red tape” is slowing down the rehabilitation and rebuilding efforts of the government, headed by former Senator Panfilo Lacson.

“There is really red tape and confusion,” Romualdez said, stressing that the national government should already download to the local government the cash donations from international and local groups.

“If they downloaded the money to us, (projects) should have been completed by now. People need the shelter, people need safety,” the mayor added.

Leyte 1st District Rep Ferdinand Martin Fernandez, meanwhile, urged the national government to “empower the local government.”

“The national government should empower the local, he stressed.  They have the structure, network, man power. We’re still here, but we will have a long way to go. Empower the local and we will get there,” he said.

The city government said that a total of 4,853 temporary housing units and 14,433 permanent housing units are needed for the city’s typhoon-affected population.

It said that of the total temporary houses needed, 1,000 units have been committed by donors. 

Of the permanent housing needed, 1,233 have been committed through memoranda of agreement and 5,600 units have been pledged by various groups.

The city government said a total of P3.35bn would be needed for the construction of the remaining units -- 3,853 temporary houses and 7,600 permanent houses -- plus shelter kits.

The computation was based on an estimated amount for the construction of the housing units -- P200,000 for each permanent houses and P40,000 for each temporary units.

As of May, the national government said that it already has received a pledge P11.076bn in cash donations.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said Thursday that as of May 14, the government has already released P32.2 billion for infrastructure rehabilitation and reconstruction in typhoon devastated areas.

Meanwhile, Romualdez said that the city government has already submitted a master plan to Lacson, who was appointed rehabilitation czar by President Aquino.

The Philippine Star