MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo has called for an audit of government housing projects for victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda, noting that only around one percent have been completed.
“What we need…are 205,000 (houses). The report reaching us is that only 25,000 were completed. From the 25,000 that were completed, 2,500 were occupied,” Robredo told a press briefing on Friday. “That is too far from our target.”
Robredo, chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), earlier expressed dismay over the slow construction of houses for Yolanda victims.
“The problem is very common in most of the areas. It’s really bureaucratic red tape,” she said during a visit to a housing project in Hernani, Eastern Samar on Wednesday.
“I was disappointed because it is called emergency shelter response, but three years after Yolanda, it is still not there,” she added.
Robredo said she reported the situation to President Duterte during the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. She said the President set a meeting with concerned agencies.
“We want to speed up the processing time from three years to 15 days,” said Robredo, adding that Duterte was supportive of her plans.
She also stressed the need to provide the necessary facilities such as electricity and water supply at relocation sites.
The government allocated P25.6 billion for the National Housing Authority this year for programs for Yolanda victims.
Meanwhile, Robredo said she understands the delay in the appointment of officials to key shelter agencies.
“We understand the situation because Malacañang is processing a lot of appointments,” she said.
Robredo said she recommended several names, but gave assurance that she could work with anyone who will be appointed.
She reiterated her support for the creation of a housing department, noting that the HUDCC is only a coordinating council with a limited mandate.