More than 12,700 shelter units built for survivors of ‘Sendong’ despite challenges

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman in a press briefing last Friday shed light on the issues cited in the 2013 Audit Report of the Commission on Audit (COA) stating that 30,438 shelters intended for victims of Typhoon Sendong were not built despite the P2.57 billion funding.

Sec. Soliman explained that the P2.57 billion is for eight regions affected by different disasters, and does not actually cover funds for the survivors of ‘Sendong’ in Northern Mindanao.

She said that out of the 8,559 shelter units needed in Cagayan De Oro City which was the area hardest hit by ‘Sendong’ in 2011, some 8, 273 units have already been completed, while 410 are currently being constructed .

Likewise, in Iligan City, another area devastated by ‘Sendong’, a total of 4,499 houses have been built out of the 7,911 target shelter units, while 174 are on-going construction.

“There is a procedure and requirements in building houses for victims of disasters through the Core Shelter Assistance Project (CSAP).

CSAP is the provision of environment-friendly, structurally strong shelter units that can withstand up to 220 kph wind velocity, earthquakes, and other similar natural hazards.

“The affected local government unit (LGU) submits a proposal identifying the land where the shelters will be constructed. Then the residents organize themselves into a Neighborhood Association for Shelter Assistance (NASA) to manage their new community,” she continued.

Sec. Soliman emphasized that funds for the construction of the shelter units have already been downloaded to the LGUs but there are challenges hampering the project implementation

These challenges include the unavailability of land, occurrence of disasters, and even politics, including the ban on the disbursement of public funds during the 2013 elections.

She said that barring unfortunate circumstances, completion of houses in the regions affected by disasters will be done by end of 2015.