By Marvin Modelo | People's Journal
TACLOBAN City -- Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Infrastructure, arrived in this city expecting to see a vibrant community of super typhoon Yolanda survivors in bunkhouses the Department of Public Works and Highways reported to have all been finished but instead saw these temporary shelters still under construction.
Marcos said he read in the news that all 222 bunkhouses had finally been completed more than three months after super typhoon Yolanda devastated Eastern Visayas.
“DPWH region 8 director Rolando Asis reported to the media that as of February 9, a total of 135 bunkhouses had been turned over by the agency to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, but what I saw here is contrary to what they are bragging about,” Marcos said.
Marcos’ visit to Tacloban is part of his committee’s investigation into the rehabilitation and reconstruction effort of the Aquino government as he is wondering why with hundreds of millions of dollars the government is receiving from foreign countries and international aid groups the survivors are complaining of the meager help the national government is giving them.
Marcos, accompanied by his cousins Leyte 1st district Rep. Ferdinand Martin “FM” Romualdez and Philippine Chamber of Mines president Benjamin Philip Romualdez and Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, toured the two temporary shelters located in two separate locations in Brgy. Caibaan here in this city and one in Brgy. Tacuranga in Palo, Leyte and found out that only about 50% of the structures were finished. Also the kitchen and the comfort rooms are still under construction.
“Nagulat ako sa aking nakita dahil taliwas ito sa report ng DPWH Region 8 director na tapos na daw ang lahat ng mga bunkhouses, pero nakita n’yo naman na mas marami pa ang hindi tapos at ginagawa pa rin ang CR at ang common kitchen areas. Bakit ba sila nagsisinungaling, bakit hinde sila magsabi ng totoo.” Marcos lamented.
“But in fairness to DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson, there are improvements on the structure like the wirings and the wall where they now double the plywood,” Marcos added.
Asis was quoted (not in this paper) that the completed bunkhouses were in the following areas: Tacloban City, 51; Ormoc City, 42; Palo, Leyte, 37; Eastern Samar, 60; and Western Samar, 32.
He said that the DPWH moved from January 31 to February 15 the deadline for the completion of the temporary shelters for the typhoon victims because the construction was hampered by bad weather.
Marcos also observed that only 20% of the completed bunkhouses were occupied by Yolanda survivors and there is no water and electricity.
This is also contrary to what DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman said in a media interview that most of the completed bunkhouses were already turned over to the beneficiaries and there is already water and electricity in the temporary shelters.