Red Cross turns over 650 disaster-resilient shelters for Yolanda survivors in Leyte

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The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) turned over another 650shelters for Yolanda survivors in the town of Sta. Fe, Leyte as part of the organization’s commitment to the ongoing Yolanda recovery program.

During the ceremonial turnover at the Sta. Fe Municipal Gymnasium on Friday, PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said the new shelters would ensure the resilience of Yolanda-affected families to future disasters.

“We did not just build houses here. We also ensured that what we built would reduce their vulnerability in the future as the houses built could withstand 240 kilometers per hour winds strength,” Gordon said.

The houses complete with toilet facilities were built through sweat equity by the beneficiaries. Aside from providing disaster-resilient shelters, beneficiaries were also given trainings on how to repair and make their shelters withstand strong typhoons.

“We wanted to empower communities that is why we also trained them how to predict, plan, prepare, and practice during calamities,” he said.

The project was implemented in partnership with Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) with an estimated amount of P61-million.

The houses distinguished by red roofs were provided to 650 families from seven barangays in the town of Sta. Fe namely:Bulod, Cabangcalan, Gapas, Pilit, San Isidro, San Roque, and Tibak.

Present during the ceremony were: QRCS Director General of Relief and International Development Rashid Saad Al Muhannadi, QRCS Head of Delegation Abdelmounaim Mhindate, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Head of Delegation Chris Staines, PRC-Leyte Chapter Administrator Edwin Pamonag, PRC-Leyte Chapter Chairman of the Board of Directors Atty. Miguel Tezon, and Sta. Fe Leyte Mayor Oscar Monteza.

The PRC in partnership with QRCS also built 650 houses in Tacloban in 2016 amounting to P49-million.

For more than four years now, the PRC has been implementing its Yolanda recovery and rehabilitation program in 9 provinces including Leyte.

So far, the PRC has already built a total of 78,970 houses in nine Yolanda-affected provinces namely: Palawan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Aklan, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Western Samar and Leyte.

Another 1,000 houses in Leyte particularly in Tacloban, Ormocand Mac Arthur are expected to be completed in June this year.

Aside from houses, the PRC also built 116 schools, 94 health facilities and 536 classrooms. The PRC also provided livelihoods to 62,670 families and hygiene promotion trainings to 64,650 people.

The Philippine Red Cross, as the foremost humanitarian organization in the country, has 103 chapters with two million volunteers nationwide that is always first, always ready and always there to provide round-the-clock humanitarian assistance, especially to the most vulnerable.

Aside from disaster responses, the other services of the Philippine Red Cross include blood, safety, welfare, health, volunteer and Red Cross youth.