DAVAO ORIENTAL, July 27, 2015 – Some 1,010 housing beneficiaries in the typhoon Pablo-hit towns of Boston, Cateel, Baganga, and Caraga recently received certificate of occupancy to their new homes during the latest round of housing turn over here.

Implemented under the Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Provincial Government, this massive housing project holds the promise of returning people quickly to their normal lives after the unprecedented disaster which laid waste their towns in 2012.

At the ceremonial turn over, Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon underscored the provincial government’s efforts in pushing for the housing program to become the national government’s first priority among all the lined up rehabilitation programs for typhoon Pablo victims. “For as long as typhoon victims are not settled in the security of their own homes, all other efforts in rehabilitation will become futile,” she said saying victims could not give their full attention to their works and livelihoods while worrying for a place where their family can stay.

She further said that these new homes symbolize security and help motivate typhoon victims to develop by focusing on their work even more.

This latest batch of turned over housing units is part of the huge scale permanent housing project that aims the construction of permanent shelters intended for a total target of 19,880 households whose homes were totally damaged. MSAP’s implementation tapped funds from the DSWD while the site development for resettlement sites as well as the management of the program is carried out by the provincial government.

Under the MSAP, around 17,420 permanent housing units have already been implemented and turned over to the housing beneficiaries since 2013.

With only about 2,000 houses more to go in order to reach the total target in all the four affected towns, the provincial government assures to complete and turn over the remaining houses before the year ends.

Gemma dela Cruz, DSWD Provincial Coordinator, recognized the agency’s strong partnership with the provincial government saying that without its support it would be difficult for DSWD to realize this huge task.

Typhoon victims here may have lost their houses but they say they remain hopeful and resilient, especially because they see the government, particularly the provincial government’s efforts and commitment to rebuild their lives.

With these newly built houses, they are now able to start life anew in the safety and comforts of their new homes. “I am very happy and my family is excited to move to our new house,” said one beneficiary in Cateel.

While these houses are built for free by the government, Governor Malanyaon emphasized beneficiaries have also their fair share of responsibilities to complement efforts of the government.

She pointed out that beneficiaries should take good care of these new homes as these will be handed down to their children and grandchildren.

“These homes and lots where these houses are built are given for free. We only ask of you to complement the government’s efforts by taking your part on responsible ownership,” she told beneficiaries. (PIO Davao Oriental)