Issue of October 14, 2018

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Ompong victims need housing funds – RDC
by Ofelia Empian

The Regional Development Council-Cordillera has requested the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) to help fast-track the acquisition of permanent relocation sites for victims of Typhoon Ompong in the region.

In a letter, RDC-CAR Chair and Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan has asked HUDCC Sec. Eduardo Del Rosario for the mobilization of the key shelter agencies and other national offices in assisting the region.

Speaking in behalf of the RDC-Cordillera, Domogan asked HUDCC for a special financing window to immediately purchase privately-owned properties to serve as relocation site for the affected families and to designate a key officer who shall work closely with the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Public Works and Highways, RDC and other agencies.

He likewise requested the HUDCC to request the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, for the release of funds under its post-disaster projects.

In particular, the RDC requested for support and assistance for resettlement of affected populations, from transition to permanent sites for the acquisition of land or lot for resettlement, and site development of resettlement areas.

“As counterpart to this endeavor, I shall volunteer my office and assign officers to serve as the convergence center and facilitator in the preparation and arranging of the relocation sites,” Domogan said.

The city mayor said there are efforts being made jointly by the PCUP, HUDCC-North Luzon, National Housing Authority, DSWD-Cordillera in coordination with the concerned local government units and other private groups and individuals to look for potential properties as resettlement areas.

Data as of Oct. 7 showed there are 38,995 partially damaged houses and 1,756 totally damaged houses in the region.

Domogan said priority should be given to affected families in Itogon, Benguet. 

He said as of Oct. 1, there are six barangays with 3,258 families, who are in need of immediate relocation based on the results of the geo-hazard assessment conducted by the Mines Geosciences Bureau-Cordillera.

“We are hoping that with your kind and immediate actions and intervention, in coordination with the appropriate concern agencies, we may be able to immediately secure a property and cause the preparation of the site for a permanent and safe dwelling for the evacuees,” he said.

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