President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday expressed his frustration over the lack of housing for Typhoon Yolanda victims, saying he will fire any government employee who further delays these projects.
Vice President Leni Robredo, who heads the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), had said that bureaucratic red tape was still slowing down the completion of more than 200,000 Yolanda houses.
Duterte, who was in Tacloban City with Robredo for the third anniversary of Yolanda, said this should not be the case because he already introduced reforms in his administration regarding cutting red tape.
"Itong LWUA, hindi ako galit sa inyo, itong LWUA, NHA, DPWH, you do that again and I will fire all of you. Totoo," he said.
(LWUA I am not mad at you but if you, NHA, DPWH, do that again, I will fire all of you. It's true.)
The Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), National Housing Authority (NHA) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) are all involved in the Yolanda reconstruction work.
"When you are paid eight hours to do your work, magtrabaho ka ng eight hours, do not shortchange the public," said the President.
(When you are paid eight hours to do your work, work for eight hours, do not shortchange the public.)
Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) displaced thousands of Filipinos and left more than 7,000 dead after battering the country in November 2013.
Robredo said around 205,128 housing projects still need to be completed but that as of September, only 29,661 had been finished, 20,287 had been partially completed and only 4,278 were being occupied.
"I am not satisfied. As a matter of fact it's BS to me," said Duterte.
"Ano ba naman, 'wag na lang kaya natin ituloy yan? Gawin na lang natin sementeryo, maghintay ng Yolanda Jr.," he added sarcastically.
(Why is this like this? Should we just stop? What if we just build a cemetery and wait for Yolanda Jr.?)
The President promised Tacloban residents he will come back in December to check if the projects have progressed.