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Nine months on, Philippines plans $4.8b effort to relocate typhoon Haiyan victims

Published on Aug 1, 2014 7:26 PM
Aerial of the coastal community, with ships brought aground by Typhoon Haiyan, in Anibong subdistrict of Tacloban City, Leyte province, in central Philippines on May 1, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

MANILA (REUTERS) - The Philippines will spend 170 billion pesos (S$4.8 billion) to rehouse some 200,000 families displaced by last year's super typhoon Haiyan that killed 6,100 people, the government said in a masterplan released on Friday.

It has taken a startling nine months to hammer out the plan because crippling bureaucracy entailed lengthy vetting, say government consultants, and sparse technical data on geological hazards and land use plans held up relocation decisions.

Thousands of displaced families remain in makeshift tents or substandard temporary shelter areas, but all-out reconstruction will begin soon after President Benigno Aquino approves the plan, although it is not clear when this will happen.

"We are confident the rehabilitation efforts will now shift to high gear," said Panfilo Lacson, presidential assistant for rehabilitation and recovery. "We are hoping to achieve at least 80 percent completion of these priority projects before the end of the president's term,"he added. Mr Aquino's term runs until June 2016.

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