Typhoon survivors in a coastal community of Tanauan, Leyte are still uncertain of what the future holds.
Rachelle Mansanay, 63, a resident of San Roque village in Tanauan town said the unclear direction of “No Build Zone ” added up to the burden of displacement.
Their makeshift house, built near the shoreline, worsens their situations because of the threats of demolition, not by storm surges but by the law barring them from building structures in high risk areas.
“Hearing plans about leaving this place again has been bothering us,” she said.
The “No Build Zone” policy bans the construction of houses 40 meters away from the shoreline to minimize casualties and damages in coastal communities.
Moreover, she claimed that they were also deprived from receiving shelter assistance both from the government and non-government organizations.
“Since we don’t get any help, we just build this house out of scattered debris,” Mansanay recalled.
Tanauan Mayor Pelagio Tecson refuted Mansanay’s claim, saying that the construction of permanent houses is now on progress in Pago village.
“Since those living in no build zones will be transferred permanent shelters soon, they are not the priority in the distribution of shelter materials,” Tecson said in a media interview.
Non-government organizations like the International Organization for Migrations (IOM), have been providing shelter kits. They also trained survivors on how to build disaster resilient houses.
“It still depends from the people in the village, if they cooperate harmoniously, delays from our work will be avoided. We just have to make sure that beneficiaries passed the criteria,” said Roxanne
Ching, one of IOM’s social mobilizer.
In addition, for their beneficiary selection criteria, they are more focused to those areas with wind damage only. They were giving out roofs, nails and other shelter kits.
As of now, they accomplished handling out shelter kits to 54 villages of Tacloban City, Jaro, Tunga and Sta. Fe. – Donna Abigail L. Bula, LNU Intern