Hontiveros urged gov’t to let typhoon victims use idle housing

Senator urged the government to let typhoon victims use some 13,000 still-unoccupied resettlement houses as shelters.

“There are at least 13,000 units in government’s resettlement sites na nakatengga lang [that remain idle],” she said in a separate statement.

“We can use these units to help the residents in vulnerable and hazard-prone areas to start anew,” she added.

Further, Hontiveros asked the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to evaluate how the government’s own facilities were built in danger zones.

“Inilipat doon ang mga residente dahil nga delikado rin sa kanilang tinitirahan. Nakakapagtaka lang na ang mga pabahay ng gobyerno na dapat sana ay nasa ligtas na lugar ay inilagay sa may mas matindi pang disgrasya,” she said.

(Residents are being resettled there because their previous homes are located in hazardous areas. I’m puzzled as to why government housing could cause more harm.)

Hontiveros also recommended the “decommissioning or shutting down” of recently-flooded public housing facilities, particularly Kasiglahan Village and Southville 8b in Rodriguez, Rizal. She noted they were both located along “red zones” as per the UP Resiliency Institute’s Project NOAH evaluation.

Hontiveros urged gov’t to let typhoon victims use idle housing

“Portions of these housing facilities have also been repeatedly inundated by two-meter deep floods in the past twenty years, and most recently by typhoon Ulysses.” Hontiveros pointed out.

If these resettlement areas would not be decommissioned, the Hontiveros suggested that financial be given to the National Housing Authority (NHA) by the NDRRMC for them to construct additional floors on top of the existing houses at no additional cost.

“NHA may have to retrofit the structure of the housing units in Kasiglahan and Southville at tayuan ng second floor kung kinakailangan [and build a second floor],” she said.

Further, Hontiveros noted the role of NDRRMC in ensuring the safety of resettlement areas or schools used as temporary shelters and centers.

“Typhoons may be caused by things beyond our control, but their effects and impacts are differentially experienced by the rich and poor,” she stressed.

“Umaasa akong bibigyan ng pansin ng NDRRMC ang kaligtasan ng mga lugar kung saan nakatayo ang government facilities para sa mahihirap. Hindi pwedeng tayo lang ng tayo ng mga istruktura. Dapat ito ay disente at malayo sa panganib,” she added.