MAASIN CITY (PIA) -- Secretary Roger Mercado of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) disclosed that the goverment's infra agency will work closely with LGUs to speed up putting roofs over the heads of people whose houses were crushed by Typhoon Odette.

The move is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte's call in a whole of nation approach to go to the poorest of the poor, to bring government to the people, Mercado said at Panan-awan airport here, his quick visit part of a whirlwind swing of provinces in the Visayas ravaged by last month's typhoon.

"Give us 1,240 square meter land for a housing project, for 40-50 families. Immediately. We will implement as soon as possible," Mercado told the mayors attending the airport meeting.

Travelling with Mercado are several DPWH assistant secretaries and undersecretaries, as well as two military generals.

In response to clarifications by the mayors, the DPWH clarified that the lot for the shelter project may be owned by a private individual with a MOA by the LGU, not reserved for any future development especially by the armed forces, the lot preferably owned by the LGU, and more than 2 units of 1,240-square meter land can be submitted.

In his report, Gov. Damian Mercado said there were 38,080 totally damaged houses, and 56,365 partially damaged houses all over the province. (LDL/MMP/PIA 8-Southern Leyte)