Tent dwellers get new free houses

December 29, 2010 at 11:02 am Leave a comment


by Yolanda Sotelo

BANI- After living in tents for many months, victims of typhoon Emong in this western Pangasinan town and typhoon Pepeng in Rosales in eastern part of the province, are now proud owners of concrete houses they helped build.

“We are very happy that we now have a place to call our home,” Diomedes Najora, a beneficiary of a housing project in sitio Olanen, Dacap Sur, said.

Najora’s family and that of 129 others lost their houses to the killer winds of typhoon Emong in May 2009. Most of them stayed for months in tents provided by the Shelter Box, an international organization, which they perched where their houses used to be –the beach in the village. Others stayed with their relatives.

In Rosales town, Cecilia Ramos, 38, and her family have moved to their new, their first-owned, house in barangay Palakipak,

Ramos’ family were former squatters in Carmen West where the earthen dike collapsed at the height of typhoon Pepeng in October 2009 when San Roque Dam suddenly released tons of water into the Agno River.

“We stayed on the rooftop for two days without food and water until we were plucked by a motorboat,” Ramos said.

For about a year, her family, including her children aged 16,15,10 and 6, resided in a tent provided by the Shelter Box. There, they were at the mercy of the unforgiving heat of the sun, the piercing cold of rain, and even a snow fall sometime last August which ripped some tents.

“Finally, we’re safe in our own home,” Ramos, who can’t help but shed tears as she recalled the “big flood” and narrated how her children trembled in fear whenever it rains.

Najora and Ramos are beneficiaries of the core shelter assistance project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development which provided construction, the United Nations World Food Programme which provided rice used to pay the workers who are the beneficiaries themselves.

In Bani, the 6.3 hectare housing site was donated by the LGU while in Rosales, the two one-hectare lots were donated by former Pangasinan 6th Rep. Conrado Estrella III.

Each core shelter costs P70,000, with additional P1,800 for labor. As the amount for labor was not enough, the rice donated by the UN World Food Programme was used as “payment,” with each worker receiving 10 kilos for every eight hours of work.

According to the DSWD, the core houses are environment friendly, structurally strong units that can withstand approximately 180-220 kph wind velocity, earthquake up to Intensity 4 on the Ritcher scale, and other similar hazards. The design won the United Nations Habitat Award in 1990.

The Philippine National Red Cross has likewise turned-over to flood victims 101 transitional housing units in Balincanaway village in Rosales. Mayor Ricardo Revita said the property on which the Red Cross houses were constructed was bought with donations received by the local government and municipal funds.

Last December 7, President Aquino personally awarded 100 houses painted yellow and blue that blend well with the green hills in sitio Olanen, Bani town.

Aquino said the Olanen project was a symbol of modern partnership between the LGU, the beneficiaries, the DSWD and the UN World Food Program to enable the victims to rise from calamity.

Just behind the hills is the South China Sea, and as most of the typhoon victims are fishermen, thus they were not dislocated from their source of livelihood.

Mayor Marcelo Navarro thanked the President who “took time to visit the small but achieving town and we are proud to showcase the Borobor ti Ayat (Fountain of Love), a housing project for the residents of Olanen who were hard hit by the 240 kph winds of typhoon Emong in May 2009.”

“Almost all their houses were destroyed, some of which were swept into the sea. Their question was, ‘where will we reside?’ We are thankful that the DSWD was able to answer that question through the core housing project,” Navarro said.

UN World Food Programme Country Representative Stephen Anderson described the Olanen housing project as “an almost text-book case of how early recovery program should work.”

“This is an excellent example because of the leadership the people got from Mayor Navarro to whom we have to give credit for spearheading (the project). The response of the people, who organized themselves, was very positive,” he said.

Anderson explained that after typhoon Emong, the UN World Food Programme mobilized to support the DSWD’s early recovery program, using rice not as a handout but as support to the victims to reestablish their lives.

“Food was just to help the community at the time when they have to do the heavy lifting during the construction, carrying every rock and bags of cement. It is not a very easy job. Besides, food plays an important role because the poor uses 60 percent of their income on food. So food is an incentive, not payment,” he said.

Each house has a floor area of 20 square meters that sits in a 64 sq. meter lot. It has its own toilet and septic tank.

In Bani, the LGU provided running water supply and electrical power connection, and the beneficiaries have option to construct extension of the units based on policies set by the LGU.

DSWD records showed that there are 135 core housing units already completed in Rosales, while another 105 units are slated for completion on December 30. The agency has likewise provided 50 units to flood victims in Sta. Barbara and 50 units in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.

Advertisements

Entry filed under: News.

LAST SALUTE EDITORIAL: No to a third term for Espino

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Welcome to Northern Watch Online.You are visitor no.

  • 903,782 since Feb. 10, 2009

Events Watch

sugod agri-expo Photobucket

Last Week’s Cartoon

Photobucket

Previous issues

Day Watch

December 2010
S M T W T F S
« Nov   Jan »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  
Regional blogs & blog posts
Regional blogs
Media blogs
Opinion blogs
Community blogs

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,428 other followers


%d bloggers like this: