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Resettlement of families in danger zones pushed

DEPARTMENT of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario is pushing for the resettlement of families living in danger zones to avoid casualties during typhoons, citing what happened in Cagayan Valley Region.

Del Rosario highlighted the need to enforce a resettlement program in areas prone to flooding, particularly those lying along river channels.

According to the housing czar, there are three categories in identifying areas prone to flooding -– highly susceptible, moderate and less susceptible.

We will coordinate directly with the local government units (LGUs) to identify highly susceptible areas prone to flooding so that we can enforce resettlement of our people to safer ground to prevent casualties in the future,” said Del Rosario.

Reports showed that 25 people either died or were injured in Cagayan Valley alone due to Typhoon “Ulysses.

The DHSUD chief stressed that woes related to flooding such as deaths and damage to properties will continue if no action is done to relocate those residing in “high-risk zones.

Del Rosario said the department will be requesting for additional funds so the National Housing Authority can enforce the resettlement scheme.

Del Rosario joined President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and other Cabinet members in Cagayan Valley on Sunday to assess the extent of damage of floods caused by water released from the Magat Dam at the height of Typhoon “Ulysses.

Local officials and weather experts noted that the flood is the worst to hit the province, which serves as a catch basin for rainwater in Cagayan Valley and the Cordilleras.

With regard to DHSUD’s interventions for the typhoon-hit provinces, Secretary Del Rosario said that the department will be distributing financial assistance to affected families in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

He said that P5,000 will be given to those whose homes were partially damaged while P10,000 will be accorded to residents whose houses were destroyed. The financial assistance will be distributed once relief assistance like food and water is completed.

Del Rosario said the department has yet to obtain a full report of the number of damaged houses and affected families as the houses remain inundated, hindering the LGU from carrying out a concrete assessment.

We will be creating an inter-agency team para mag-conduct ng assessment to be led by the Office of the Civil Defense and includes the DHSUD, NHA and DSWD so that we can determine who will be granted financial assistance,” the DHSUD chief stated.