By Calvin Cordova
CEBU CITY – The National Housing Authority (NHA) has committed to build 320 housing units for families displaced by the massive landslide in Naga City, southern Cebu.
Naga City Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong said that for phase one of the housing program, the NHA will fund the construction of the housing units in a Gawad Kalinga community situated in the city.
“This is part of the commitment by President Duterte to provide relocation site for the displaced families,” said Chiong.
If the need arises, the housing program will expand to phase two, Chiong said.
“In case there will be more families that have to be relocated, 536 units will be built in Balili property,” the mayor said.
Each house, a two-story structure, is worth P400,000.
Chiong said the city will await the results of the assessment conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“The DENR will check if the relocation site is safe,” the mayor said.
Chiong said the number of families that will be relocated will also depend on the assessment of the DENR.
DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu has ordered that residents living within the one-kilometer radius of the landslide area should evacuate.
“It may be reduced to 300 meters. At the time when Secretary Cimatu ordered the forced evacuation, there was still movement of the soil that’s why it was expanded to one kilometer. We will await clearance from DENR,” said Chiong.
The landslide happened in Barangay Tinaan. Most of the fatalities came from sitioSindulan.
According to Naga City information officer Garry Cabotaje, the death toll has reached 56 as of 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III has expressed willingness to donate the province-owned Balili property, a 24.7-hectare beach front property, to Naga City.
Davide said the province will also give P10,000 to each family of the fatalities and another P1 million to the city government of Naga.