Director Priscilla N. Razon receives a plaque from New Bataan Mayor Lorenzo L. Balbin Jr.

Davao City – The regional office here of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently awarded additional 1236 more permanent homes to Typhoon Pablo survivors in Compostela Valley.

In her message during the turnover ceremonies in New Bataan Thursday, DSWD Regional Director Priscilla N. Razon underscored the spirit of unity and resilience of the town.

“New Bataan has come a long way because it never succumbed to defeat and because it has learned to imbed solidarity among the residents, and upheld and sustained harmony among the disaster responders who sprang from all walks of life and courageously immersed in the town to help rebuild it.”

She urged, “Beyond what have been extended to you, materially and spiritually, what remains of best value is the opportunity to grow from the ruins and the openness to take in, from the lessons of nature and of God. Let us continue to be united and resilient as we level up, but never forgetting the most important lessons in our journey.”

On Thursday, the town commemorated its 47th Anniversary and it rejoiced as well as 655 more families received their new homes through the DSWD Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP).

Daghang salamat DSWD sa paghatag og paglaum kanamo. Wala na gyud ko nagdahom nga matagaan pa ko aning balaya sukad nga naguba ang among balay sa bagyo (Thank you so much DSWD for giving us hope. I never expected that I will be provided this house after our house was destroyed by the storm),” Jestonie Bautista of Barangay Sandawan gratefully conveyed.

Ample tears fell as Jestonie recalled how painful that day was for his family. He can finally separate from his father’s house after two years of staying with them, he said confidently.

For couple Francis and Maricris Almasa of Barangay Cahayag, their newly built house is the best gift they have received after two years of grieving.

Salamat sa Ginoo, mapulihan na gyud ang amoang payag-payag ug makatulog na og tarong akoang mga anak  (Thank God, we can now replace our shanty and my children can now sleep well),” Maricris joyfully declared.

New Bataan Mayor Lorenzo L. Balbin Jr. confirmed that the unity and resilience of the people of New Bataan made them overcome the tragedy and learn their lessons. He also thanked DSWD for the all-out support and various interventions.

Compostela Valley First District Congresswoman Maricar S. Zamora encouraged the people of New Bataan to not forget the phenomenon that changed their lives but to talk about it so that lessons will be remembered and lived.

“Now that you finally have your houses, we hope that you will start improving your own selves.”

As of June 23, DSWD has awarded 841 homes in New Bataan, 1382 in Compostela town, 1537 in Monkayo, 1335 in Montevista, and 2123 in Laak.

To date, 7218 shelters have been completed in Compostela Valley and 16,804  in Davao Oriental. (DSWD)