SOLONS REVIEW POST-YOLANDA RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS
Two years after Typhoon Yolanda, the strongest typhoon recorded in history hit the country, thousands of families still live in unsafe zones, in bunkhouses and tents, or have been relocated to permanent but substandard shelters that lack basic utilities and far from sources of income.
This prompted the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PCLPD) to examine the areas in policy making and implementation that need improvement, issues that need to be addressed and the gaps that need to be filled in the area of housing and resettlement.
PCLPD conducted a forum on August 11, 2015 to present the results of the Post-Yolanda Resettlement study: “The Right to Adequate Housing In Post-Disaster Reconstruction: Rebuilding Communities For A Sustainable And Resilient Future”.
The lawmakers, local government officials from Yolanda-hit provinces and representatives from the national government agencies attended the forum.
“The forum proved fruitful as the participants determined how unsettling policies and lack of coordination contri-buted to the problem of unsettled communities in Yolanda-affected areas had impacted the reconstruction efforts,” PCLPD Vice-Chair for Visayas, Rep. Sharon Garin said.
The participants were able to pin-point solutions. One is to improve land use classification by integrating hydro-meteorological hazard risk analysis into the equation.
These hydro-meteorological maps should indicate the level of susceptibility of areas to natural hazards, flood, landslides, storm surge, and others. These maps are crucial tools for the LGUs in updating their respective Comprehensive Land Use Plans.
The participants identified major bottlenecks in the identification, procurement, acquisition, and titling of lands where disaster survivors would be relocated.
Legislators found the need for an enabling law that will relax rules on procurement, land acquisition and land titling requirements on emergency situations and natural catastrophes which is time bounded and requiring submission of fewer requirements.
The law makers also pledged support to pass the proposed National Land Use Act which is seen as a crucial action from the government to be able to determine and ensure safe lands for settlement sites and resettlement areas; safeguard rights and security of the poor and the vulnerable sectors against displacements.
“As we draw closer to commemorating the second anniversary of that fateful November day, let us work together to finally move on from the sad memories of the past, and complete our recovery towards a more sustainable and resilient future,” Rep. Garin said. /MP