Ribbon cutting ceremonies for shelter turnover led by [from left] Tarragona Mayor Nestor L. Uy, Davao Oriental Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon, DSWD Regional Director Priscilla N. Razon and DSWD Assistant Regional Director for Operations Rebecca A. Santamaria.

Permanent homes in Barangay Cabagayan.

Tarragona, Davao Oriental -Three years after, it is no longer stories of misery and hopelessness but a celebration of bountiful blessings and new beginnings for ‘Pablo’ survivors here.

On December 4, three years past Tropical Storm Pablo (Bopha), the municipality of Tarragona received massive aid from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Under the Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP) of DSWD in partnership with the Provincial Local Government, 304 families in Cabagayan, Jovellar, Maganda and Tubaon received permanent homes as an early Christmas gift.

These houses are part of the total 867 shelter units to be completed by the first quarter of 2016, said Director Priscilla N. Razon of DSWD.

“We really came here to see your smiles as you finally receive your housing units. These houses are typhoon-resilient and we hope that you can finally enjoy the celebration of Christmas and New Year with your families,” Director Razon heartily conveyed to recipients in Sitio Madian, Barangay Tubaon during the turnover.

Other assistance  inaugurated in Tarragona under DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan -Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services) include a 260-meter road concreting in Barangay Jovellar amounting to P 1,137,152.00, drainage canal in Barangay Central worth P 1,249,290.00 and an P 8,461,990-worth backhoe to expedite construction works and clearing of roads during disasters.

“We have continuously supported our affected families and attended to their needs. All of these developments were made possible through the sustained support of the provincial and local government units of Davao Oriental,” Director Razon said.

To date, a total of 18,447 MSAP units have already been completed in Davao Oriental, most of which are located in the hardest-hit towns of Baganga, Cateel and Boston.

Wala gyud mi gipabayaan sa DSWD. Wala man gyud mi naigo pag ayo sa Pablo pero gilupad sa Bagyong Agaton amoang balay. Daghang salamat sa pinaskohan sa DSWD (DSWD never abandoned us. Our house was not heavily damaged by Typhoon Pablo but Typhoon Agaton blew our house away. Thanks much to the Christmas present of DSWD),” Nalita Macatubay of Tarragona said.

Governor Corazon Malanyaon lauded the support and assistance of DSWD throughout the three years. “DSWD has poured so much support and never-ending assistance to the people of Davao Oriental.”

Tarragona Mayor Nestor L. Uy expressed his gratitude to DSWD. “We were not as devastated as Boston, Baganga and Cateel yet DSWD has provided more than what we expected. Let us take care of the blessings that came from God who made DSWD the instrument.” (DSWD)