MANILA, Philippines – Over 800 families in areas affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) have been relocated to new homes, Malacañang said on Tuesday, December 6.
"In just 26 days after President Duterte mandated to relocate the beneficiaries to their new homes, we have successfully relocated 827 Yolanda families out of 911 that was raffled to their new homes as of December 3, 2016," said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella during a news briefing on Tuesday.
Abella was quoting a report from the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino.
More families are expected to be relocated before Christmas once relocation sites are completed, added Abella.
The finished sites should have electrical connection and potable water supply.
Duterte demanded the fast-tracking of the construction of houses for Yolanda survivors when he visited Tacloban City last November 8, during the 3rd anniversary of the super typhoon.
He had said then that the state of housing in Yolanda-affected areas was "BS" and that he would be back in December to check on the progress made.
Among the officials on top of Yolanda housing efforts was Vice President Leni Robredo who recently resigned from her post as housing czar after Duterte barred her from attending Cabinet meetings.
But Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr, who now heads the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council in place of Robredo, has said housing initiatives will go on even without the Vice President at the helm.
"There are many other agencies that have to do with housing. We will work with those," Evasco has said.
Super Typhoon Yolanda left more than 6,000 people dead and over one million houses damaged. (IN NUMBERS: 3 years after Super Typhoon Yolanda)
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.