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As survivors of Super Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ struggled to find permanent shelter, the Aquino government failed to release P20 billion allocated for 2016 for housing assistance to typhoon victims, according to data released by a senator as the country marked the third year when the storm devastated Eastern and Central Visayas. Senator Loren Legarda said Congress allocated P25.6 billion housing assistance for Yolanda victims under the 2016 budget of the National Housing Authority (NHA) but the government had not released P20.7 billion as of June this year.

“In light of the commemoration of Yolanda anniversary, allow me first to put on record that we have allocated P25.6 billion housing assistance for victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda under the 2016 budget of the National Housing Authority (NHA). Unreleased funds as of June 2016 is 20.7 billion,” Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on finance, said in a speech on Monday.

President Benigno Aquino III ended his six-year term in June to give way to President Rodrigo Duterte.

“We hope that we can fast track the construction of permanent housing for the intended recipients if only to bring renewed hope to those who have survived the strongest typhoon to hit land,” she said.

“[W]e have allocated P25.6 billion housing assistance for victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda under the 2016 budget of the National Housing Authority (NHA). Unreleased funds as of June 2016 is 20.7 billion,” Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on finance, said in a speech on Monday.
Yolanda, the most devastating storm that hit the country, marked its third anniversary this Tuesday, November 8.

Apart from the NHA budget, Legarda said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRM) Fund had P18.896 billion but P18.433 billion remained unreleased as of September 30.

“I wish to remind our agencies that the NDRRM Fund is no longer just a calamity fund. We should use it to build resilience, reduce and prevent risks in our communities, and to take proactive action so that natural hazards will not turn into disasters that kill and maim our people, and impede our development,” the senator added.

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