'Yolanda' survivors protest billion-peso seawall project

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Thousands of Typhoon Yolanda survivors from Leyte and Eastern Samar held a protest on Monday, decrying a billion-peso tide barrier project.

The Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) says the P7.9-billion Road Heightening and Tide Embankment project promises to protect Yolanda-affected areas in Tacloban-Palo-Tanauan from future calamities, such as storm surges.

But protesters believed the proposed seawall could be potentially dangerous to thousands of families living along Tanauan town to Tacloban City.

Aaron Pedrosa of the Community of Yolanda Survivors and Partners said about 10,000 families would be displaced should the project push through.

As of November 2016, only 4,278 new housing units for victims have been occupied three years after the powerful typhoon struck the Visayas, and more than half of the 205,000 houses for Yolanda victims have yet to be completed.

Pedrosa's group said those who have relocated were in worse condition.

Read: Tacloban starts mass relocation of Yolanda victims to resettlement areas

Families of survivors complain of little to no access to water and electricity, and that their houses are far from their source of livelihood.

Sammy Gamboa of the Freedom from Debt Coalition said the government shelters for typhoon survivors were of substandard quality. "They don't comply with adequate and safe, resilient shelters."

The protesters also cited a study of earth and environmental scientist Kelvin Rodolfo that said the 4-meter high wall would leave the areas more vulnerable to earthquakes and other disasters.

What the group proposes instead is the construction of more resilient evacuation centers.

They are also calling on President Duterte to explore other ways to address the impact of disasters.

The project has yet to begin construction, with a P2.6-billion budget for its initial phase.

WATCH: CNN Philippines Investigates: 'Yolanda' housing project drags on