Philippines

DavOr's Permanent housing program helps typhoon victims start anew

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DAVAO ORIENTAL, May 5, 2014 (PIA)— Some 188 families in Boston and Baganga towns have received on Monday April 28 certificates of occupancy to their new homes under the innovative permanent shelter program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in partnership with the provincial government.

Funded under the Modified Shelter Assistance Program of the DSWD, the shelter program addresses the provincial government’s goal of providing stable and long-term housing to the thousands of typhoon-affected families in the east coast.

During the turnover ceremony, these beneficiaries, who are the first batch of recipients in these towns, said they are thankful to benefit on this housing program, telling they cannot wait to move in to their new homes and start over with their lives.

“We now have roofs over our heads and a warm place to sleep, all thanks to the government who subsidized all expenses in building us homes,” said one beneficiary.

A combination of concrete and hard wood, the fully-painted farmhouse type design home has room divisions and has its own comfort room. These houses are also designed to withstand strong winds brought about by the current climate extremes.

Typhoon Pablo may have trampled the houses and lives of many residents, but for Mila Malvar of Brgy. Dapnan in Baganga, the disaster is a double-edge sword that brought not just devastation but also opportunities.

“I am so delighted we now have a home we can call our own. Typhoon Pablo may have shattered our houses, but in the end we were provided with a much better and much beautiful home,” she said. “It is a big help especially for us. This is a legacy of the government that we shall never forget.”

Moreover, aside from the provision of houses, permanent livelihood opportunities are also provided.. Just recently, the provincial government launched the Oil Palm Industry Development Program that hopes to benefit farmers in the east coast towns who lost their livelihood.

Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon, who spearheads the housing program said that provision of a secured home gives people freedom to pursue their goals in life.

During the ceremonial turnover, sheencouraged beneficiaries to also participate in the construction, in a scheme where they too are paid for the labor in building their own homes.“There is a construction boom in the typhoon-hit areas,” she said urging residents to take advantage of the livelihood opportunity especially now that the thousands of homes are yet to be constructed.

Meanwhile, to ensure good quality construction, a team of building inspectors from the provincial government ison the ground running checks for possible building defects such as cracks and leakage among others. Governor Malanyaon said the turnover of houses that manifests such defectswill be halted and will undergo repair before they are awarded to its respective beneficiaries.

Governor Malanyaoncongratulated the beneficiaries, hoping that this would inspire them to work hard to better their lives.

She reminded the beneficiaries to complement the help provided to them by the government with hard work. “You are already given the foundation to rise back. The rest is up to you,” she told the beneficiaries.(PIO DAVOR)