MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte's directive for survivors of typhoon Odette to receive tarpaulins is the "fastest solution" to provide them temporary shelter after the calamity shredded tens of thousands of homes, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
While proper housing materials are "welcome", they "will come later," said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
Quoting the National Housing Authority, he said the "procurement of housing materials for targeted island LGUs with onsite delivery of the construction materials will be undertaken from January to March 2022."
In the meantime, local governments and some of their constituents requested trapal to build temporary shelters, Nograles said.
"Ang pinakamabilis na solution, which ito rin ang panawagan ng constituents, is the tarps, then we will be sending the construction materials after it goes through the procurement process," he said.
(The fastest solution, which constituents also requested, are the tarps.)
Duterte on Monday instructed the social welfare department to buy tarpaulins that big enough to cover 6 people and protect them from the cold.
He also eyed uprooted coconut trees in the holiday island of Siargao as temporary housing materials, though he acknowledged these were "not really advisable to be used."
"But for a temporary [shelter], iyon na lang muna... Pinturahan mo to at least slow down the deterioration until iyong housing makagalaw," he said.
(But for a temporary shelter, let us just use that. Paint it to at least slow down the deterioration until the Housing authorities can move.)
"Ang ano talaga nila ngayon (what they really need right now) is shelter. Food is available," continued Duterte.
Odette left hundreds dead, knocked power out in nearly 300 towns and cities, and damaged about half a million houses when it tore through the central and southern Philippines almost 2 weeks ago, according to the disaster agency.