Group to build houses in Bohol-A A +A
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
AFTER raising relief goods and delivering these to families in Bohol, civic groups will now focus on helping Boholanos rebuild their homes and infrastructure.
At least P60 million is needed to build transition houses for families who lost their houses during the magnitude 7.2 earthquake last Oct. 15.
#BangonSugBohol and Gawad Kalinga Foundation already ended their relief operations last Sunday and will now start raising funds for reconstruction and rehabilitation of damaged houses and infrastructure, like water supply and school buildings.
The two groups will rely on volunteers and donors for help, and welcome donation in cash or construction materials.
Gawad Kalinga hopes to build 1,000 transition houses. At a cost of P60,000 per house, the group will need P60 million to build the 1,000 units. They hope to start building up to 100 houses by December.
The houses will have an open floor plan and a bathroom.
But unlike the permanent concrete houses built by Gawad Kalinga for victims of typhoons and other calamities, the transition homes will be partly made of amacan, kawayan and other light materials. Only the posts and foundation up to waist level will be made of concrete.
Gawad Kalinga National Executive Director Luis Oquinena said they opted to use indigenous materials on the request of the affected families.
“After the earthquake, they developed a fear that concrete houses are not safe because they could be buried alive when an earthquake strikes. So they said, no cement, let’s just use amacan instead,” he said during a press conference yesterday.
“But we found a middle ground. We will design it in a way that when their fear is gone, they can change the amacan to concrete and make it a permanent house,” he said.
#BangonSugBohol and Gawad Kalinga held a press conference at the City Sports Club yesterday to announce their plans for their rehabilitation projects in Bohol, and to present a report on the donations they raised.
As of Nov. 4, #BangonSugBohol, an advocacy started by businessman Jay Aldeguer, raised a total of P2,125,606.10 from private companies and individual donors.
They plan to use the amount as seed money for the rehabilitation projects they will implement in Bohol.
It also distributed 5,575 bags of relief goods and several truckloads of bottled water to affected families.
Gawad Kalinga’s Operation Walang Iwanan also mobilized 298 volunteers to distribute 21,819 food packs and 74,371 liters of water to families in 108 barangays in 14 towns.
Among other assistance, #BangonSugBohol plans to use their resources to help Boholanos with their livelihood to stimulate economic activities in quake-stricken areas.
Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Philip Tan said civic groups and volunteers like them can only do so much, and government should fix damaged infrastructure like roads and bridges as soon as possible so economic activities in Bohol can continue.
“If Bohol’s economy will not improve, Cebu’s economy will also be affected,” he warned.
As of yesterday, Gawad Kalinga still does not have the money needed to start building the transition houses, but Oquinena is confident they can raise the money for 100 houses before December.
“One probably cannot afford to donate money for one house but if we champion to help one family in Bohol and talk four or five friends to help, then maybe you can raise money for one house... it’s doable. What’s nice here is the process of reaching our goal because it will build solidarity, connectivity and resiliency and people there can say, hindi nila kami iiwanan,” Oquinena said.
This Christmas season when companies and families splurge on parties, he suggested donating half of their budget for parties to rehabilitation efforts if they want to help the Boholanos.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 06, 2013.