Davao City  -Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman turns over on Friday, November 21, some 2779 permanent shelters to survivors of Typhoon Pablo in the hardly-hit towns of Baganga, Cateel, Boston and Tarragona in Davao Oriental.

This brings a total of 10,716 units completed in Davao Oriental Province said Director Priscilla N. Razon, DSWD.

The Secretary will also visit the newly-inaugurated Irrigation Dam Site in Cateel; the Sibahay Relocation Site, Riverview Park, and Pablo Memorial Shrine in Boston; and some projects of DSWD in the three towns.

Director Razon said the shelters were constructed through the DSWD Modified Shelter Assistance Program as part of the continuing rehabilitation program of the Department in partnership with the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental where the national government funds the project and the provincial government takes charge of site development, land preparation and engineering expertise.

The continuous construction is being implemented while ensuring that residents are properly relocated in safe zones to prevent future disasters, she said.

Some 2400 Certificates of Occupancy, Titles and house keys will also be handed over, she added.

Earlier, Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon said, “We are fast tracking the construction of all the houses and target to finish it as soon as possible. I urge everyone to take advantage of the livelihood opportunity especially that there are still thousands of houses to be constructed.”

Provided to families left homeless by calamities, the core units are resistant to disasters and built with concrete and good lumber.

Each unit covers a lot area of 70 square meters, installed with a two-room division, painted inside and out, with bathroom and septic tank, separate kitchen, and concrete wall.

Families whose original homes were situated in ‘no build’ zones [per assessment of the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau] were relocated in resettlement areas [off site] where basic facilities like water, electricity and road network have also been accessed.

NGA-LGU collaboration

Director Razon earlier said this milestone could not have been possible without the provincial government’s active role in the project. “They [the provincial government] paved the way so that we could execute our interventions a lot easier,” she said.

She also mentioned the role of convergence and partnership in putting this massive housing program to reality.

Noting the province’s remarkable development from being a badly devastated wasteland into being a staggeringly progressing haven, Razon said she is in awe of how the people remarkably recovered despite the huge devastation they had faced.

Meanwhile, DSWD assured that this housing project would not be the last of their assistance to the province as they will be engaging on more livelihood programs, particularly on agri-based production and micro-enterprising strategies programs.

Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon lauded the DSWD for keeping their commitment to the province despite the fact that the agency had been stretching their coffers to meet the needs of the province and other areas that were hit recently by disasters.

She also thanked DSWD for giving typhoon victims a chance for a fresh start. “This milestone opens more opportunities for our people. These new homes are the symbol of security and a boost in the economy. Indeed, all these developments are just the beginning,” she said.

“This is the result of our convergence, cooperation and resiliency. What we should do now is to help one another and focus more on our development. The victims themselves, the owners of the house were involved as builders or workers; everybody was involved and nobody became idle anymore,” added the governor.

The overall cost of the DSWD Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP) is Php 2.6 billion which is also implemented in the towns of Caraga and Manay in Davao Oriental, and Compostela, Monkayo, Montevista, New Bataan, Laak, Nabunturan, Pantukan, Mabini, Maco, Mawab, Maragusan in Compostela Valley. DSWD/with reports from DavOr PIO