‘Yolanda’ victims ask: Where’s our housing?


Survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) in Samar urged President Rodrigo Duterte to fulfill the promises he made during his last State of the Nation Address and investigate what they described as “anomalous housing projects” for survivors of the 2013 disaster.

Community of Yolanda Survivors and Partners (CYSP), a coalition of 163 communities devastated by Yolanda, complained that many of the housing projects are substandard or nonexistent.

“We find it shocking that after four years, we’re still in talks for permanent housing for the survivors,” said Florina Reyes of Eastern Samar province.

“The Duterte administration made a commitment to speed up the transfer of survivors in relocation sites. But in our area covering eight municipalities in Eastern Samar, four towns are just starting to put up evacuation sites while the four others have not even started,” Reyes said.

There are around 4,753 relocation beneficiaries from these eight towns alone, Reyes added.

Dhon Daganasol of Katarungan, one of the local groups under CYSP in Eastern Samar, said some of the housing units are so substandard, beneficiaries filed a “notice of refusal” with the National Housing Authority (NHA) last month.

“The hollow blocks and cement are so weak, they’re brittle to the touch,” Daganasol said.

“Instead of having peace of mind, we can’t accept such housing units. We might have survived Yolanda, but we’ll most likely get killed with these [houses],” Daganasol added.

‘Dancing houses’

In Barangay Cansumangkay in Balangiga town, Reyes said the model relocation houses have been derisively called “dancing houses” because “if you shake them, they will move.”

In the same barangay, CYSP said they found substandard, including what looked like sardine cans used as downspouts. “Is that within standards of materials for [government] housing?” Daganasol asked.

The problem, Daganasol said, was that the sites were planned without consultation with the beneficiaries.

The NHA’s designs for the houses appeared to be for urban areas and are not suitable for farming and fishing communities. “Where will they place their livestock, their tools for their livelihood?” Reyes said.

“We’ve been [meeting] with the NHA regional office for four years, but it’s like they’re playing deaf to our appeals,” Daganasol said.

Although the NHA started surveying the relocation sites last year, there has been no follow through since.

Reyes cited NHA data as of February that for the whole of Eastern Visayas, the government has only completed 29 percent of the targeted number of housing units, or 13,238 out of 45,208.

“This is a very small number for a period of four years,” Reyes said. “Transitional housing have almost rotted away because of natural wear and tear over the years and over many weather disturbances, yet the plans for permanent housing are still unclear.”

Lack of land

Another problem in Eastern Samar, Reyes said, was the lack of land for the socialized housing, considering a Commission on Audit requirement that the lots should be titled.

“The problem is, in Eastern Samar, 70 percent of the land aren’t titled,” Reyes said.

In Palawan province, CYSP claims almost none of the 8,760 resettlement units for Yolanda survivors in Agutaya, Busuanga, Coron, Culion and Linapacan towns have been completed.

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

Copyright © 2019,

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate: c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Duterte at it again, says world is better off sans priests
  • Over 900 areas now tagged as ‘election hotspots’ — PNP
  • Bong Go enjoins supporters to take down ‘Malasakit’ posters
  • Duterte on peace talks with Reds: It’s useless, I give up
  • UAE food security minister embarks on 2-day visit to Philippines
  • Sports

  • Amid injuries, captain Jerrili Malabanan keeps FEU together in win over Adamson
  • Gronk unleashed: Rob Gronkowski sets course for retirement fun
  • Steph Curry returns, Warriors beat Pistons
  • North Carolina returns to Sweet 16, beats Washington
  • Lakers ride Kyle Kuzma’s hot 3rd to beat Kings
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Father’s Day’ Promises to Be a Sitcom on a Theater Stage
  • FDA takes up decades-long debate over breast implant safety
  • Hero or heel? Historians weigh in on Emilio Aguinaldo
  • 9 artists explore native and borrowed countries in ‘In the Near Distance’
  • Highlight’s Lee Gi-kwang pays tribute to Michael Jackson in valedictory music video
  • Entertainment

  • ‘It’s ok to be not ok’: DJ Sanya Smith opens up on battle with anxiety, depression
  • Priyanka Chopra shoots down feud rumors with Meghan Markle
  • ‘No Sleep No FOMO’ by Viu shows power of social media engagement
  • LOOK: AC Bonifacio graces Kids’ Choice Awards orange carpet
  • Jasmine Curtis-Smith laments condition of Filipino workers who moderate violence, porn on Facebook
  • Business

  • PAL’s system upgrade a success
  • Federal Land opens Mi Casa in Bay Area Pasay
  • Asian shares sink, tracking Friday’s retreat on Wall Street
  • Philippine iconic footwear brand now in Dubai
  • Doable Ways to Maximize Your Space
  • Technology

  • LOOK: Philippine trees enchant with their own ‘tropical sakura’
  • Samsung A90 mid-range phone could go notchless
  • Microsoft researchers stored, retrieved ‘hello’ message from DNA
  • Reel-y? New beer can double as motion picture film developer
  • As Epic and Steam struggle, indie game creators feel the squeeze
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, March 25, 2019
  • Monitoring the mines
  • The growing tax havens in PH
  • The road to national perdition
  • Oral histories
  • Global Nation

  • New species of sardines found in Manila Bay; Oceana calls to stop reclamation in the area
  • Chinese coast guards shoo away PH fishing boat from Panatag
  • Panel OKs West Philippine Sea Victory Day bill
  • PH close to ratifying Minamata treaty
  • DFA: 163 Filipino crew members of stranded cruise ship are safe

    • McDonald’s PH Chairman & Founder, George T. Yang turns over three performing arts studios for DLSU Manila

      Read More

    • Cops arrest 6 ‘Basag Kotse’ suspects

      Read More

    • Honest naia cabbie cited for exemplary deed

      Read More

    • Mom of 5-year-old girl with leukemia looking for more good samaritans

      Read More

    • Compensation commission releases P2.3-M to aid Marawi soldiers

      Read More

    • PNP can’t always fool public with ‘nanlaban’ claims – solons

      Read More

    • Poll: Most dislike NFL protests and Trump comments

      Read More

    • Former Mexico governor wanted in US arrested

      Read More

    • US: Nobel Peace choice doesn’t change US stance

      Read More

    • California becomes first ‘sanctuary state’ for undocumented migrants

      Read More

    • Mexican photojournalist found dead after kidnapping

      Read More

    • Moscow gets 130 fake bomb calls, evacuates 100,000 people

      Read More

    • Frustrated police appeal for public’s help in Vegas case

      Read More

    • US states declare emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Nate

      Read More

    • Trump’s one-two punch hits birth control, LGBT rights

      Read More