Philippines

DSWD core houses survive ‘Yolanda’

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MATAG-OB, Leyte, May 15 -- “The core shelter units built through the Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are still standing even after the mighty force of Typhoon Yolanda. The units were built to really withstand disasters even as strong as ‘Yolanda’,” Enrique A. Odtuhan, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO), said in a statement.

Odtuhan added that all the 80 units built in 1991, 2000 and 2010 in Barangays Cansuso, San Marcelino, San Sebastian, and San Guillermo remain standing.

This was confirmed by former Mayor and now Vice Mayor Michael L. Torevillas who said the units are really durable for them to be able to defy the force of ‘Yolanda’.

“Yes, they are standing despite the heavy blow,” Vice Mayor Torevillas said.

Earlier, residents of Boston, Davao Oriental confirmed that 27 DSWD core shelter units constructed in their town also survived Tyhoon Pablo.

“In the aftermath of the typhoon, we noted that the surrounding structures and coconut trees were practically smashed to the grounds yet the core houses in Brgy. Carmen remained whole except for about 10 units whose roofing materials were seized by the fury of ‘Pablo’,” Municipal Information Officer of Boston Judith Castres shared.

The occurrence of the two typhoons just confirmed the toughness of the structures.

Community development

Odtuhan, who has been MSWDO for 24 years now said he has witnessed the construction of all the units and expressed happiness that these have remained intact, except for minor damages on the roofs, and still providing safety and security to the 80 family-recipients in the four barangays.

Recently, the town has built 70 more core shelter units in the villages of Bula, Mansahaon and Naulayan.

The DSWD-CSAP is extended to individuals or families left homeless by disasters or poor families living in hazardous areas.

The program is a community development initiative utilizing the principles of community organizing, convergence of services, and capability building.

Core shelter beneficiaries are organized into Neighborhood Association for Shelter Assistance (NASA) and participate in the actual construction of their respective units. They also undergo Values Formation Orientation and other capability building sessions to understand their situation and problems at hand and intently work to arrive at solutions.

Grateful occupants

In Brgy. San Sebastian, 30 families are occupying the core shelter units.

Mary Ann M. Orapa, 32, one of the occupants is grateful that their house was spared from the forceful blows of ‘Yolanda’ and that they still have a place to stay.

Mary Ann said her family and the rest of the occupants in their village all received assistance following the typhoon.

She became one of the beneficiaries of the Cash-for-Work (CFW) program of the DSWD and the local government unit.

Part of the CFW activities is the communal vegetable gardening where she and her fellow beneficiaries have started planting camote, cassava, ampalaya, string beans, okra, tomato, upo, and cucumber. Other beneficiaries are raising hogs.

The community is currently being assessed by DSWD Project Development Officers for appropriate livelihood interventions.

Presently, San Sebastian has 10 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program grantees who are also thankful for the education and health subsidy.

Having resolutely outlived powerful typhoons, the core shelter units have proven its worth.

Its grateful owners are now more secure and united after braving an unforgettable merciless wrath. (DSWD)