A House investigation into the government’s home-building scheme for NoCot earthquake victims is being sought.
Rep. Rudy Caoagdan of North Cotabato’s 2nd District has filed a bill calling for a congressional probe into why, despite the national government’s intervention, many earthquake-displaced people in the province remained at evacuation locations.
Caoagdan said he filed Resolution 01-2022 on Wednesday, requesting that the House Committee on Good Governance investigate, in aid of legislation, the release of funds by the national government through the National Housing Authority (NHA) for the establishment of evacuation facilities, housing and relocation sites, and house construction for victims of the North Cotabato earthquakes in 2019.
More than 100,000 people in the province were affected by a series of quakes that occurred on Oct. 16, 2019, with a magnitude of 6.3, and two quakes on Oct. 29, 2019, with magnitudes of 6.6 and 6.1, respectively; and on Oct. 31, 2019, with a magnitude of 6.5.
He claims that many of them have yet to return to their own countries.
Caoagdan represents North Cotabato’s second legislative district, which includes Kidapawan City and the towns of Arakan, Antipas, Pres. Roxas, Magpet, and Makilala.
The disaster rendered the bulk of Caoagdan’s residents, especially older citizens, homeless due to the destruction of their homes, and they were unable to return to their towns since they had been deemed danger zones.
Due to a lack of funding, the local government units’ reaction, such as the construction of housing units, was insufficient, forcing the national government, through the NHA, to provide additional monies to assist LGUs in meeting the victims’ shelter needs.
“Despite the aid, both material and financial,” Caoagdan wrote in his resolution, “many, if not the majority of the evacuees are still living in temporary evacuation sites owned by private individuals because no relocation sites and housing facilities have been fully established despite the release of allocation by the national government through the NHA.”
“Until now, these evacuees have to content themselves with the uncomfortable and hazardous consequence of living in temporary evacuation sites since 2019,” the senator stated, without specifying the exact number of people staying in evacuation sites.
According to him, the evacuees have taken to all available forums, including social media, to express their dissatisfaction with the delays.
The legislator is optimistic that the resolution would address the concerns raised by his people.
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