Miraluna C. Cotongan of Barangay Carmen, Boston holds her Certificate of Occupancy to her brand new house.

Cateel, Davao Oriental– “Only our houses blown by ‘Pablo’ left us, but the hope still remains,” Typhoon Pablo victim Reysalina Donaldo said.

A total of 1,840 more families in the towns of Baganga, Cateel and Boston received their Certificate of Occupancy to their permanent homes through the modified shelter assistance program (MSAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in coordination with the Provincial Government.

DSWD provides funding while the Provincial Government handles acquisition and development of resettlement sites.

“For two years, my family never slept in a comfortable home but I am still grateful that blessings from the government flooded our municipality. They never left us during our most trying days,” Donaldo recounted.

DSWD XI Assistant Regional Director for Operations, Rebecca A. Santamaria said she is optimistic that all remaining houses targeted for construction will be completed by the end of March this year.

“These homes mark a new beginning for you. Now that we are given the security of a home, DSWD can now focus more in accessing different livelihood activities under the Sustainable Livelihood Program so that you can totally rise and get going. Houses built under MSAP may not be your dream house but at least government can offer you a comfortable and secure place you can happily call your own home.”

“Dili nako mapugngan nga muhilak nga nakabalay napud kami kay mahinumduman nako akoang bana nga namatay sa depresyon human sa Bagyong Pablo. Sakit pa pero kailangan nako mutindog kay kabalo ko dili ko pabayaan sa gobyerno (I can’t help but cry with this new home because I remember my husband who got depressed and died after Typhoon Pablo. It is so painful yet I need to move on for I know government will not neglect us),” said survivor Gertrodes D. Purazo of Baganga.

Meanwhile, Gov. Corazon N. Malanyaon said the downpour of support from the national government agencies especially DSWD has made her province grow stronger and resilient.

“Despite the mounting challenges, there are still people with kind hearts that will help meet the urgent needs and help the province build resilience.”

To date, 13,780 permanent housing units have been already completed on the ground, offering typhoon survivors opportunity for a fresh start.

During the said turnover ceremony, Santamaria announced the upcoming Listahanan second round of assessment and encouraged everyone to cooperate in the data collection process.

Listahanan-identified poor families will benefit from social protection programs of DSWD and other line agencies.

She also bared that age requirement for qualified beneficiaries of social pension has already been lowered from 77 to 65 years old. DSWD