A model unit for the Modified Permanent Shelter in Cateel.

SAN RAFAEL, Cateel, Davao Oriental  – Some 100 typhoon-affected families in Sitio Cogon here will finally own sturdier homes as 100 permanent housing units will soon be constructed by the provincial government in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Tan Yan Kee Foundation, Inc.

Davao Oriental Gov. Corazon N. Malanyaon, Tan Yan Kee Administrative Officer Phillip Sing and Director Priscilla N. Razon of DSWD led the groundbeaking ceremonies Friday.

Babylyn Edullantes, 43, a Pantawid  Pamilya beneficiary and a mother of three happily said, “Magpasalamat gayod mi sa among bag-ong balay kay grabe pagkalisuda sa among kahimtang kaniadto (We are very thankful with this new house as we were in a very difficult situation before).” Edullantes was a recipient of Cash for Work and her three children also benefited from the Supplementary Feeding Program.

Naka-uswag-uswag gamay, nakaginhawa. Pasalamt mi nga naay hinabang diria labi na ang pabalay karon (We are gradually doing better and thankful for the assistance especially with the housing now),” said Jennifer Losentes, 28. She has two children and her husband is a labourer.

Barangay Chair Liezel Delaluz shared they are recovering and are very grateful as housing is a basic need of the people and they have been staying in temporary shelters since December last year.

Cateel Vice Mayor Isidro Castro said, “DSWD always remembers us and now our miseries are lessened with this housing units which will be built here.”

Phillip Sing said his group is the philanthropic arm of Lucio Tan Group of Companies and focuses on calamity assistance, livelihood and environmental protection. He said the foundation extends assistance to communities heavily affected by disasters. “This gift will go a long way in making your lives better.”

Director Razon urged the community, “We should not dwell on the sadness and the trauma. We have to rise up.” She said DSWD has committed 3046 permanent shelters to be built in Cateel. She also lauded the preparatory activities conducted by the provincial government in the area pointing out that convergence of resources from the local government, private sector and national government is clearly manifested.

The PLGU will manage the construction, DSWD provides P 7 million for construction materials while Tan Yan Kee counterpart is P 4 million. The single-detached shelter unit will have a floor area of 23.586 square meters in a lot that measures 80 square meters.

In her message, Gov. Malanyaon cited as well that public-private partnership is working. “These donors are God’s instruments and it’s God’s will that they help us. We have received so many graces and let us be thankful for all these.” She urged the recipients to engage in livelihood and gardening. “Let us help ourselves and also provide voluntary service to others.”

DSWD is set to build 836 Permanent Modified Shelter units in Boston and 3704 in Baganga. The MVP Group is also providing permanent shelters. Other temporary shelter interventions in the three hardest-hit areas come from the International Organization for Migration -502, Catholic Relief Services -2999, International Committee of the Red Cross -2438, Philippine Red Cross -209, International Federation of the Red Cross -115, Caritas/NASSA/CBCP -954, Plan International -100, and Green Mindanao -797. DSWD