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The Catholic Church through its social action arm, the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) / Caritas Philippines together with other groups are appealing to stop imminent plans by the city government of Tacloban to forcibly evict about 3,500 Yolanda-affected families in Tacloban city’s so called “danger zones”.
According to the Community of Yolanda Survivors and Partners (CYSP), a coalition of 163 community organizations and ten non-government organizations including NASSA/Caritas Philippines, the city government of Tacloban will undertake a massive demolition of structures that will lead to the displacement of Yolanda survivors in 15 coastal barangays particularly in Magallanes and San Jose districts in Tacloban city.
The CYSP said that the hurried relocation of Yolanda survivors by the city government is purportedly being done on the pretext of the marching order issued by President Rodrigo Duterte to complete the shelter reconstruction of Yolanda survivors by December this year.
“Unfortunately, this is not the kind of response that the Yolanda survivors had been praying for, that the administration of President Duterte review, reform and improve the rehabilitation and reconstruction process under its watch,” the CYSP said in their letter sent to Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco.
The CYSP said most Yolanda survivors resist the planned transfer to the Northern barangays because of absence of livelihood opportunities, and difficult access to essential services such as schools, markets and hospitals.
They added that water and electricity also remain an uphill challenge in the relocation sites.
The CYSP is currently asking Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco to convene an inter-agency dialogue to address the situation and clarify key issues on Yolanda reconstruction.
Aside from NASSA/Caritas Philippines, the CYSP also includes the Urban Poor Associates and the Canadian Catholic for Development and Peace which are also part of a consortium together with the Archdiocese of Palo and the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer that is currently working on the development of the “Pope Francis Village”, a permanent in-city relocation site in Barangay Diit in Tacloban city, which would accommodate 550 families displaced by Super Typhoon Yolanda.