SM Group to build 200 houses for Yolanda survivors

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

THE SM Group, through its corporate social responsibility arm SM Cares, will put up 200 houses in Barangay Polambato, Bogo City for poor families in the town who were affected by super typhoon Yolanda in November.

Last Saturday, SM Prime Holdings Inc. president Hans T. Sy led the groundbreaking ceremony of the SM Cares housing project with Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, Bogo City Mayor Celestino Martinez Jr., and SM Prime Holdings Inc vice president for Visayas and Mindanao Marissa Fernan.

The SM Cares Village will stand in a one-hectare property donated by the heirs of Wenceslao and Margarita Briones Fernan, who are originally from Bogo and ran a sugarcane business in the area.

Sy said the construction of the houses will start in two weeks and is expected to finish in nine months.

Typhoon-proof design

The project will cost the group P50 million, with each house costing P250,000 to build.

Sy said that the houses were designed to be typhoon-proof since they will be adopting concrete roofing instead of the usual galvanized iron sheets. In addition, houses will also have a high ceiling, proper ventilation and a utility-ready provision. The settlement will have a five-meter wide road network, a concrete perimeter fence, community center and a basketball court.

The project in Bogo will be the first among SM Cares’ housing projects for the typhoon victims in the Visayas, said Sy.

He said SM Cares has increased its housing projects for typhoon survivors from an initial P20 million to P200 million.

Ealier, the SM Group poured over P100 million in assistance to various communities in the Visayas affected by Yolanda. The amount includes P20 million for immediate relief operation, P20 million for health assistance, P20 million for churches and P20 million for education.

Another project

By next year, another housing project will be put up in Palo, Leyte, Samar and Panay Island. SM Cares is targeting to build 1,000 houses for typhoon survivors. It is also inviting other groups and individuals from the private sector to join them in the housing project.

Apart from the SM Cares village, five other sets of privately-led housing projects are also being done in Bogo City, which is estimated to build a total of 350 houses.

Martinez said more than 1,800 families were identified to have been affected by the calamity and the total cost of destruction was pegged at P700 million.

The mayor said that since last week, Bogo City already started its rehabilitation stage.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 23, 2013.


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