Only 25% of houses for Yolanda survivors completed after four years — research

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 9) — Survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda are still reeling from the aftermath of the disaster four years on because the previous government failed to deliver its promised rehabilitation, according to a research firm.

IBON Foundation said at a forum on the anniversary of  Yolanda Wednesday that only 25 percent or 50,891 of the  205,128 houses for the victims have been built. Of the completed units, only 27 percent are occupied.

"They're supposed to make permanent shelters pero ang nangyari is (but what happened was) they made temporary shelters which can be demolished in nine months, thereby increasing their budget," IBON Research Head and Executive Director Rosario Bella Guzman said.

To make matters worse, only five of the 86 resettlement areas for the victims in Eastern Visayas have water supply.  Only 59 have electricity.

The Committee on Housing and Urban Development in the lower house also noted that the units are of poor quality.

"It's really the negligence on the part of the (National Housing Authority) to monitor the contractors to implement it properly. They were splitting the contracts to accommodate mga unqualified contractors," Panel chair Rep. Alfredo Benitez said.

The NHA blamed local governments for the delay, saying officials were slow in giving them the list of beneficiaries. The agency  also said it had difficulty looking for resettlement areas, but promised to finish building all the houses by mid 2018.

But some of victims have run out of patience.

Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao said People Surge, a Tacloban-based alliance of Yolanda survivors, plans to file a case against officials of the Aquino administration.

Tacloban, Leyte was ground zero of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

"Private contractors should be held liable but the buck doesn't stop there .. Abaya, Soliman, Aquino, these are the top honchos," Casilao said, referring to former Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Abaya, former Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, and former president Benigno Aquino III.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Coordinating Council, 6,300 died and 1,062 went missing in the devastation of Yolanda in 2013. Cost of damage reached some P95.5 billion.

CNN Philippines' Joyce Ilas and Yvette Morales contributed to this report.