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Duterte admin fast-tracks recovery efforts for Yolanda victims
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Duterte admin fast-tracks recovery efforts for Yolanda victims - Palace

November 8 ------ On the eve of Super Typhoon Yolanda's (International name: Haiyan) fifth anniversary, Malacañang said it is speeding up recovery efforts for the disaster victims. "Yolanda has taught us a hard lesson in public service, particularly on the need to respond to our people’s plight with more compassion and urgency. This is why the Duterte administration has worked harder to fast-track the recovery efforts for Yolanda survivors," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

As of December 31, 2017, a total of P146.156 billion was released to implementing national government agencies, government-owned-and-controlled corporations, and local government units, according to the Presidential Assistant for Special Concerns. Half of the said fund was allocated to housing programs and ancillary basic utilities. Based on the data from National Housing Authority, out of the 205,128 target permanent housing units for Yolanda victims, 100,709 have been completed--46,412 have already been occupied and 54,297 units are ready for occupancy as of October 30, 2018.

"To speed up resettlement, we are addressing issues that cause the delay, which include limited availability of titled lands for resettlement, slow processing and issuance of permits and licenses for construction projects and absence of sustainable livelihood opportunities, among others," Panelo said. A joint order for the creation of a one-stop shop facility for relief consignment is also being drafted by the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Moreover, Panelo acknowledged the joint efforts of the different sectors in the local and international community and commended the resilience of the affected residents. He also underscored the need to create a disaster-resilient Philippines and pushed for the Senate's approval of the bill creating the Department of Disaster Resilience.

"We thank the pro-active leadership of the House of Representatives for approving on third and final reading House Bill 8165, otherwise known as the Department of Disaster Resilience Act, and we hope the leadership of the Senate would do the same," he said. On November 8, 2013, Yolanda hit Eastern Visayas devastating properties and claiming the lives of thousands. People Surge, an alliance of disaster survivors in the region, earlier said that the government is not giving much priority to the victims of Yolanda.