Yolanda Victims Remain Victims for the Nth Time


yolanda-victims-2By: Marites Badilla


ON the 3rd year anniversary of the super typhoon Yolanda, the media will recall the incident and tell the public what is the latest on it, specifically on the conditions of the victims.

The media for sure will report the failure of the government to make good of its promise, thus, the victims continue to suffer the negative effect of the typhoon on their lives.

Seldom will report the good accomplishment.

The media reports the explanations of the government agencies and the private groups that offered their assistance to the victims so that the public would learn why the negative effect of Yolanda super typhoon has not been decisively addressed.

The reporting and disclosure of the media to the public of deliberate massive mistakes of government officials and institutions assigned by the leader of the country to work on the problems is not consistent.

The reporting and disclosure of truth appear to be for media work purposes only.

As a result, the government officials and employees do not do their work in complete honesty.

As a result, the victims continue to suffer all the negative things three years after the very strong typhoon hit Eastern Visayas Region, particularly Leyte.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) admitted that all the solutions to the problems of the victims of Yolanda have not been delivered yet.

The problems encountered by the victims would begin from the distribution of goods up to the rehabilitation period itself.

DSWD said data gathered from Region 6 and 8 showed that 62 percent of the core shelters for the victims would get permanent houses have not been constructed until this year, 2016.

DSWD said it gave priority to Regions 6 and 8 because the two regions got the highest funding.

“It was very disappointing to see how three years later, 62% of all the core shelters of the DSWD for the ‘Yolanda’ survivors have been built. It was shameful because we are all aware of how much the survivors have already suffered during and after Typhoon Yolanda, and yet we were unable to provide for what was promised them – safe houses they can rest in as they try to recover from the extreme stress and trauma they suffered. Many of them lost their loved ones; most of them lost all they have worked for until the typhoon struck. The least that should have been done to help them was to ensure that they have safe and comfortable houses; we failed to do this,” Asec. Aleli Bawagan strongly argued.

Bawagan further disclosed that some of the projects funded from cash donations of private individuals and businessmen plus those came from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have not been accomplished until this date.

For example, the contractor for the boat garage has billed the local government of Guiuan, Eastern Samar that 85% of the project has been completed.

But the truth of the matter was less than 20% have been completed in the project based on what has been stated in the plan.

Another problem was that the original location of core shelter project in Guiuan, Eastern Samar did not materialize.

Instead, the DSWD discovered that the provincial government has demolished the transition homes in Barangay Cogon in preparation for the construction of the core shelters.

Records at the DSWD showed that these transition homes were constructed by IOM using DSWD funds.

DSWD noted that the IOM was awarded P189 Million for the construction of 2,480 transition shelters (TS) at P76,210 per unit in Leyte, Eastern and Western Samar covering the project duration from August 1, 2014 to December 2015.

DSWD records discovered that as of the September 2016 validation, they have been able to construct 770 TS and 640 Timber Houses (total of 1,410 units, 57% of the original target) for a total cost of P201 Million (additional 6.35% from the original budget).

The balance of P12 Million was taken from Foreign Grants fund of ADB paid to IOM on June 20, 2016.

The cost of the 770 transition shelters was pegged at P76,210.00 per unit and the cost of the 640 timber homes was P222,372.34 per unit.

Records showed that some 1,559 units of core shelter using ADB grant, as of Aug. 15, 2016, only 8 have been completed (Hindang), 59 are ongoing (3 in Hilongos, 20 in Hindang, 36 in Tacloban) and 1,492 units have not yet started the construction of the project as of August 15, 2016.

DSWD clarified that the budget for the core shelter given to the local government unit (LGUs), in partnership with the United Nations-Habitat and Associates for the Urban Poor (AUP) is P70,000 per unit.

The budget for the IOM is P 100,000 per unit.



Studied Master of Public Administration. at UP Diliman Past: Philippine Christian University and Project 6 High School

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