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Church wants to stop eviction of 3,500 ‘Yolanda’ families in Tacloban

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Catholic Church officials on Wednesday sought a stop to what they called the evacuation from Tacloban City of some 3,500 families affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

The National Secretariat for Social Action/Caritas Philippines said these 3,500 families are located Tacloban city’s so-called “danger zones.”

“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 Community of Yolanda Survivors and Partners (CYSP) said in a letter to Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco.

CYSP claims to cover 163 community organizations and 10 non-government organizations including NASSA/Caritas Philippines.

It questioned the Tacloban City government’s plan to demolish structures that may displace survivors in 15 coastal barangays in Magallanes and San Jose districts.

CYSP said most Yolanda survivors resist the planned transfer to the northern barangays due of lack of livelihood opportunities, and difficult access to essential services such as schools, markets and hospitals.

“This is another knee-jerk reaction that will only exacerbate the situation of Yolanda survivors who will now have to swallow the bitter pill of living in housing projects that are without access to water, electricity and access to education facilities,” the CYSP said.