Around 17,420 permanent housing units have already been turned over to families from Boston, Cateel, and Banganga in Davao Oriental, who were rendered homeless by Typhoon Pablo in 2012. This number includes the 1,010 units which were turned over on Monday, July 27.
The houses were constructed under the Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which provided the needed funds and the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental, which handled the site development of the resettlement sites and the management of the program.
With the latest turnover of units, only about 2,000 houses more are needed to reach the total target of 19,880 units in all the four affected towns.
DSWD and the provincial government assured that they will complete and turn over the remaining houses before the year ends.
DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that the completion of the housing project indicates that government resources have redound to the benefit of vulnerable families.
She also recognized the agency’s strong partnership with the provincial government saying that without its support, DSWD would have a difficult time realizing this huge task.
“Typhoon survivors may have lost their houses but they claim that they remain hopeful and resilient, especially because they see the government, particularly the provincial government’s efforts and commitment to rebuild their lives,” Sec. Soliman added.
During Monday’s ceremonial turnover, 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 ‘Pablo’ survivors.
“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, adding that the survivors could not give their full attention to their work and livelihood while worrying for a place where their family can stay.
She further said that these new homes symbolize security and help motivate typhoon-affected families to improve their lives by focusing on their work even more.
“Masaya po kami ng aking pamilya at medyo excited nang lumipat sa aming bagong tirahan (I am very happy and my family is excited to move to our new house),” said couple Wilhelmino and Wehil Pesalson from Cateel.
While these houses are built for free by the government, Gov. Malanyaon emphasized that beneficiaries also have 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.