PROGRESS REPORT: DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario gives updates on the department’s ongoing efforts to provide housing financial assistance to those affected by recent typhoons during the Build Back Better Task Force’s third meeting via video conference led by DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu on Friday. 

QUEZON CITY – The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) has identified a barangay in Nueva Vizcaya province as highly-susceptible to flooding and residents need to be relocated.

DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario, during Friday’s Build Back Better Task Force’s online meeting led by Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu, gave updates on DHSUD’s progress as lead agency of the Task Force’s Key Result Area 2 on stronger shelter and resilient resettlements.

As per initial assessments conducted with the Department of Social Welfare Development and the National Housing Authority, DHSUD has identified 421 households from Baragay Runruno in Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya, that need to be relocated as they are situated in highly susceptible areas prone to landslides and flooding.

The DHSUD chief, together with PHSS OIC-Director Rowena Dineros, likewise reported on the ongoing field validation regarding damaged houses in typhoon-hit areas.

According to Secretary Del Rosario, they will need around PHP37.51 million to resettle the affected families, noting that a memorandum on the funding request will soon be submitted to the Office of the President.

The DHSUD chief likewise informed the Task Force on the status of the Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP), stating that more than PHP27 million had been disbursed to 2,725 beneficiaries in typhoon-hit areas from Region 4A and Region 4B.

Secretary Del Rosario said figures from Region 5, including in Catanduanes, which was the hardest-hit by Typhoon Rolly, are still being finalized, noting that EHAP payouts to affected residents in the MIMAROPA region are also ongoing.

Meanwhile, the housing czar disclosed that PHP697.6 million will be needed to provide housing financial assistance to 712,522 families from Regions I, II, III, CALABARZON, V and CAR whose homes were either partially or totally damaged at the height of Typhoon Ulysses. A funding request will also soon be submitted to the Task Force, as well as the Office of the President.

With regards to field validation on damaged houses in typhoon-stricken areas, Secretary Del Rosario told the Task Force that assessments are ongoing in the CAR, Region II and MIMAROPA in coordination with the NHA and local government units.

“For our long-term requirements on resettlement, we need the validation of the post-disaster needs assessment that would be undertaken by the Office of the Civil Defense, and this will cover from Regions 1 to 5,” Secretary Del Rosario said.

“So in this, we’ll take time because direct coordination must be undertaken with the LGUs concerned. Once we are done with the validation, confirmation and direct coordination with LGUs, we will submit our complete action plan,” he added.

Recently formed by the government following the onslaught of typhoons that caused severe damage to agricultural crops, public infrastructure and private properties, the Build Back Better Task Force intends to use a science-based approach in pushing for rehabilitation and recovery efforts in calamity-stricken areas.

Malacañang also hopes that the Task Force will complement the operations currently being conducted by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council until the Department of Disaster Resilience being pushed by some lawmakers is fully established. (30)