By TRISHA MACAS, GMA News
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday announced free housing worth P50 billion for survivors of super typhoon Yolanda at a summit at the National Housing Authority (NHA) in Quezon City.
"Iyong ano ba, housing ninyo, after a few years you have to pay 200,000, iyong Pablo pati ‘yung Yolanda. Basta ako pa ang Presidente, libre na ‘yan. No more," he said.
"Eh ‘di sa totoo lang, magbayad rin kayo? Eh libre na lang ‘yan kasi wala naman talagang magbayad. Pilipino? Eh pagdating ng kolektor, sabihin mo, 'Kubrahin mo doon kay Duterte kung saan siya ngayon.' Libre na para walang ano. OK," he added.
In an ambush interview, NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr. confirmed that the agency's board recently approved the grant for Yolanda victims.
"That pronouncement is very clear because we already approved that in the recent board of the NHA. We recommended to the President that all Yolanda projects will be full grant so that would mean all beneficiaries of Yolanda of Samar, Leyte, Tacloban, Palawan, Cebu, Iloilo, Panay, Antique are all free," he said.
Escalada said that the grants would be given to 205,000 Yolanda beneficiaries.
"The total amount for the 205,000 is something close to P50 billion worth that we are giving full grant to all the beneficiaries of Yolanda. The thing is these are victims of calamities and they cannot recover over time even over for the next five years, six years, or 10 years because nag-aalalang pa sila sa livelihood and here is one imposition from government na even hindi pa sila naka-recover ng their own livelihood, another obligation is passed unto them," he said.
Escalada said that the funds will be derived from the national government appropriations.
"General Appropriations Act of 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 allowed us to disburse the fund and henceforth by president's directives in his pronouncement this afternoon upon the recommendation of the board so the Yolanda beneficiaries will be given a full grant just like what we did for Pablo," he said.