For all of President Rodrigo Duterte’s talk on the Balangiga bells in his second State of the Nation Address (Sona), residents of Balangiga town in Eastern Samar actually have a more pressing demand: for the national government to review “slow-moving and botched” housing projects for Super
Typhoon “Yolanda” survivors in Eastern Visayas.
Members of nongovernment organization Community of Yolanda Survivors and Partners (CYSP) aired this plight in a protest rally at the National Housing Authority (NHA) office in Tacloban City on Monday, coinciding with the President’s Sona in Metro Manila.
“During Aquino’s administration, nothing came out of his ‘build back better’ promise. In the current administration, the campaign promise to us survivors that we have one foot inside Malacañang seems to translate now into us having one foot in the grave,” said Marife Juana, a beneficiary of the New Hope housing village in Tacloban City, in a statement from CYSP.
Earlier, members of the CYSP, particularly coming from Eastern Samar, held a press conference in Metro Manila to air complaints of long-delayed and substandard housing units particularly in Barangay Cansumangkay in Balangiga town. The survivors described “dancing” or shaking walls, and even what looked like sardine cans being used as downspouts in the government resettlement site units.
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