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NEDA 7 convenes LGUs and government agencies to resolve Yolanda resettlement issues

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Five regional line agencies DBM, DENR, DILG, NHA, and OCD and 13 Cebu local government units Bantayan, Bogo City, Cebu Province, Madridejos, Pilar, Poro, San Remigio, Santa Fe, Sogod, Tabuelan, Tabogon, Tuburan, and Tudela were represented during a problem solving session (PSS) for Yolanda resettlement projects held at NEDA7 on July 13, 2016. The special meeting was convened by NEDA7 to hasten the implementation of government-funded resettlement projects in northern Cebu.article2 photo

The resettlement component has been the main bottleneck in the full implementation of the Yolanda Rehabilitation Projects (YRP) in Central Visayas. Of the 32 resettlement projects, only five are ongoing while 27 have not yet been started. This problem is reflected in the low overall YRP fund utilization rate because out of the total P12.5 billion YRP budget, P6.57 billion or 53 percent was earmarked for housing projects.

The NHA reported that the construction of houses is hampered by the delay in the developers’ acquisition of the required clearances and permits. Another reason cited is the difficulty in acquiring titled lands because some of the identified project sites were declared as protected areas, particularly those situated in island-municipalities. As a result, developers could not start any physical developments because one of the NHA requirements is the title of the housing lot.

The body discussed several ways to resolve the issues that impede the implementation of the resettlement projects. Agencies that needed to coordinate with one another set dates to discuss specific issues that concern them. NEDA7 is closely monitoring the status of the agreements reached during the activity.