HUDCC assures calamity resilient houses for Itogon

BAGUIO CITY -- The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) in the region will develop communities with quality and resilient houses for the families in Itogon displaced by Typhoon “Ompong” (Mangkhut).


HUDCC Deputy Secretary General, Assistant Secretary Leira Buan told the Philippine News Agency on Friday that they will be scouting for a safe location for the displaced families.

"We really have to address this issue, to give them a resilient housing for them not to suffer the same tragedy,” Buan said.

She added that since the country is prone to calamities, it is necessary that the area for housing development, especially those of the government, should be geologically safe.

Buan confirmed that various Local Government Units (LGUs) and the National Housing Authority (NHA) are trying to identify a safe place for the displaced families, where they can build a community to continue their lives normally.

"When we say community, its a complete facility. It has schools, hospitals, churches, and of course a resilient housing, We are very hopeful that no one will suffer the same fate as they had," she noted.

She reiterated that under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, all housing departments were ordered to build communities according to the national housing code.

"If there is a problem with the contractor, and if we see they [the houses] are substandard, we will issue a stoppage order, we do not allow substandard housing," she said.

Relaying the President’s order, Buan said, “ang bahay na dapat sa tao, bigyan ng nararapat na kalidad, at sa kanilang pamumuhay, (The people should be given quality housing, they should also be given livelihood).”

To help Itogon, the NHA turned-over PHP10 million last September to the local government for the purchase of construction materials to fix the houses of the victims.

The NHA will again turn over PHP10 million to Itogon to purchase a lot located on safe grounds.

Most parts of Itogon had been declared by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) as geohazard, and even declared portions within the geohazard zone as highly critical and dangerous, leaving the town with little options but look for a relocation site.

"We are not only the agency that is thinking of how to help and lift the family of Itogon. The DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), the housing sector, TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) and others are also participating in providing livelihood programs, capability trainings, a convergence project that is immediate," she said.

Earlier, Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Francis Tolentino relayed that after [Secretary Roy] Cimatu ordered the closure of small-scale mining in the Cordillera region, he immediately convened a meeting with Cabinet officials and other government agencies to come up with a convergence program to help the victims in Itogon.

"To the poeple of Itogon, bear with us, we are doing our best to provide a resilient housing location for you to rebuild your community," Buan said. By Pamela Mariz Geminiano (PNA)






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