Davao Oriental, November 9, 2015 – Some 17,388 houses have already been turned over to families whose homes were completely damaged in the typhoon Pablo-hit towns of Boston, Cateel, Baganga, and Caraga in the Province of Davao Oriental.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development XI said that the shelter program dubbed as Modified Shelter Assistance Program is now close to its target of 19,880, owing to the continuous and immediately construction of houses after the typhoon Pablo devastation in 2012.

Funded by the DSWD and facilitated by the Provincial Government, these housing units have already benefited majority of the affected families who lost their homes due to the typhoon.

During the latest batch of turnover of houses to 456 beneficiaries in Boston, Cateel and Baganga, the DSWD XI through its Social Welfare and Development Officer Gemma dela Cruz lauded the efforts of the Provincial Government for the quick implementation of the massive housing program.

She highlighted Davao Oriental as one of the most efficient provinces in the country in terms of disaster rehabilitation, particularly in permanent shelter provision. In fact, Davao Oriental’s Building Back Better Program has now become the model in the entire country in terms of disaster response and rehabilitation.

She added that despite the limited resources, the Provincial Government managed to provide beneficiaries houses that are equipped with the basic features of a home, such as a comfort room, electrification, water, and drainage system. In addition, the houses were also built with a ceiling and exterior wall painting – features that are not covered in the initial core house plan.

Residents extended their thanks to the Provincial Government along with its partners who provided them assistance at the time of their dire need. They say that the housing program helped not only in providing shelter but as well as in sanitation practices considering that houses are equipped with its own comfort rooms.

Meanwhile, dela Cruz also addressed several issues in terms of the implementation of shelter assistance. First, she emphasized that only P10,000 Emergency Shelter Assistance was given to each family with partially damaged homes, in contrary to the claims of some groups here that it was P30,000.

“The P10,000 aid was clearly stated in the Memorandum of Agreement signed by  DSWD Regional Director Priscilla Razon and Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon – whom the Sangguniang Panalalawigan had previously authorized to enter into the said MOA signing,” she stressed.

Furthermore, she also reminded beneficiaries of their counterpart to take good care of their house and not to sell it as it will be their legacy to their family and to their children.

Gracing the turnover ceremony are Board Member Niño Uy and First District Representative Nelson L. Dayanghirang.

At the turnover ceremony, Governor Malanyaon congratulated the beneficiaries who are now proud homeowners. She urged them to continue their support to the various development programs of the Provincial Government, particularly on the emerging eco-tourism development in their areas that holds the promise of further local economic improvement.

For his part, Cong. Dayanghirang lauded  the efforts of the Provincial Government under the leadership of Gov. Malanyaon. Complementing the governor’s eco-tourism projects, Dayanghirang reported the nearing completion of the road networks linking Davao Oriental towns to the boundary of the neighboring Compostela ValleyProvince. He also vowed that he will continue to back the thrusts of the present administration and will continue to pour support to the typhoon Pablo-affected towns. (By KLD/PIO DO)