[from left] Board Member Joseph Jauod, Vice Gov. Manuel Zamora, shelter beneficiary Vivian Bucotot, Brgy.Capt Moises Bacolod, Jerry Bucotot and daughter, and Pantawid Pamilya Provincial Link Nenita Pongcol during the ribbon cutting rites for the shelter turnover.

MONKAYO, Compostela Valley -For many Typhoon Pablo survivors especially for Cynthia Ationg, 48, a resident of Brgy Awao, Monkayo who lost a child, the pain lingers even a year after.

“I’m still feeling sad, but I have to remain strong and to endure for my remaining six children with no husband on my side,” said Cynthia as she wiped her tears.

Her husband was imprisoned before Typhoon Pablo hit their town. For survival, she and her children mainly depend on Pantawid Pamilya and on other government assistance.

Barely a year after homes were destroyed including Cynthia’s home, the continuing recovery and rehabilitation efforts of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in partnership with the Provincial Government of Compostela Valley yielded brand new homes through the DSWD Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP).

A total of 1324 housing units with certificates of occupancy were recently handed over to typhoon survivors of Montevista (97), New Bataan (146), Compostela (247), Monkayo (632), and Laak (202).

Vivian Bucotot, 39, said during the ceremonial cutting of ribbon for the turnover which was held at her new house, “Sakit man gihapon hangtod karon nga makahinumdum mi sa nahitabo pero salamat sa Ginoo wala mi niya gipabayaan ug sa gobyerno nga wala mi nakalimtan (It is still painful when we recall what happened but we are thankful that God didn’t abandon us and to the government that didn’t forget us).”

Bucotot has five children.

“We thank you for not losing hope and continuing to smile even with the worse experience you had. We see hope in your eyes that is why we did our best to help you fully recover from the disaster,” conveyed Vice Governor Manuel ‘Way Kurat’ Zamora.

He said these units would not have materialized without the ‘undying and dedicated support of DSWD and other partner agencies.’

He also lauded the efforts of the Neighbourhood Association for Shelter Assistance (NASA) for the commitment as partners not just in the construction but in building a new community in their new-found village.

NASA is homeowners association created in every village built through the DSWD shelter program.

Vice Governor Zamora even promised that after the new home, “through the help of the Sustainable Livelihood Program of DSWD, people will totally rise from the devastation.”

Raquel E. Nuñez, DSWD Policy and Plans Division Chief and TS Pablo Provincial Coordinator for Compostela Valley, urged the families to take care of their new homes and be grateful of the provincial, municipal and barangay efforts, and of DSWD in helping them realize their concrete and comfortable homes. (DSWD)