Tudela offers relocation site-A A +A
Sunday, December 8, 2013
CEBU -- About 120 families from the coastal barangays of Tudela will be relocated to higher ground, as local communities try to learn from the devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
The Municipality of Tudela in Camotes Island inaugurated on Saturday a relocation site, spanning at least a hectare in Sitio Fatima, Barangay General, which will serve both General and Barangay Southern Poblacion.
A total of 174 houses were destroyed in that northern town, 24 of them from these two barangays, when the super typhoon struck exactly one month ago.
“It’s Tudela, under the leadership of Mayor Erwin Yu, which is the first town affected by Typhoon Yolanda to come up with a relocation site. What he is doing is laudable,” said Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III.
In a separate interview, Representative Benhur Salimbangon (4th district, Cebu) said at least 60,000 houses will need to be built for the typhoon survivors.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala will meet with the livestock raisers in Cebu this week to consult them on what specific rehabilitation measures are needed.
The province of Cebu lost at least P440 million worth of livestock and P450 million in high-value crops as a result of Yolanda. It also needs to fix or rebuild P1.9 billion worth of public infrastructure projects.
The relocation effort in Tudela is in line with the order to keep a “no-build zone” 40 meters from the shore. The order, issued by the National Government, is in response to the threat of storm surges, like what swept across Tacloban City last November 8.
Governor Davide, Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, Provincial Board Member Jude Thaddeus Sybico, Tudela Mayor Yu and other officials witnessed the groundbreaking.
Tudela earlier borrowed P1.5 million from the Province for the acquisition of the lot.
When Davide’s party arrived at the municipal hall, the governor told Mayor Yu that Tudela need not pay back the amount.
48 square meters
Davide said he admired Mayor Yu and Vice Mayor Greman Solante for their immediate action.
In a separate interview, Yu said they prepared a budget of P500,000 for 2014 to purchase the lot in Sitio Fatima.
But considering the urgency to acquire a relocation site, Yu and Solante went to the governor’s office last week and presented the resolution, which the municipal council passed to request the Province that the municipality be allowed to avail itself of a 1.5-million loan.
Yu said they purchased the lot owned by a former Sangguniang Kabataan official for just P500,000 and will use the remaining P1 million to get construction materials. They intend to finish at least 120 houses.
During the groundbreaking, two model houses were already being built. These were made of coconut lumber and galvanized iron sheets.
Each house will be allocated a lot area of 48 square meters.
Yu said the town will spend to build more houses as well as provide water and power systems for the relocation site.
Among the groups that helped Tudela develop their relocation site are Tate Publishing and Enterprises Inc. and Association of Philippine Volunteer Fire Brigade Inc.
A ceremonial turnover of 12 galvanized iron sheets, one kilo of umbrella nails and another kilo of common nails was done Saturday.
Mayor Yu said that after the families in the two barangays are relocated, the residents from the five other coastal barangays will be moved to a lot in Barangay Calmante.
Residents from the barangays near the creeks will then be moved to a lot in Barangay Santander.
But the mayor said the municipality still has to purchase these lots.
Davide assured that the Province will help the other towns with their relocation sites. He also encouraged residents to heed the advice of their local leaders and leave the areas that are considered dangerous.
Also on Saturday, department heads of the Cebu Provincial Government distributed goodies to the children and food packs to the senior citizens in Tudela and neighboring town Poro.
The Capitol employees had decided to postpone their Christmas party to share their blessings with the typhoon survivors.
Another challenge for Cebu will be to recover the piggeries and the poultry farms, which used to produce 1.6 million eggs a day.
Representative Salimbangon said government and private sector interventions are needed to help the farm owners, as well as the workers and animal feeds suppliers.
Secretary Alcala revealed that the Department of Agriculture (DA) is coordinating with Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for a loan package for the affected farmers and fishers in Cebu and Bohol, with a repayment period of 15 years.
Alcala also visited Bohol, which was hit by the typhoon while still recovering from the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that occurred last October 15.
The secretary met with the DA Regional Management Committee headed by DA-Central Visayas Director Angel Enriquez, Bohol Provincial Agriculturist Larry Pamugas and Provincial Veterinarian Stella Marie Lapiz.
He announced P66-million worth of projects that include dispersal of seeds and animals, technology training, distribution of farm machinery and restoration of damaged facilities.
In Cebu, Salimbangon said he has reported to House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte that aside from piggery and poultry farms, the sugarcane plantations, mango trees, corn fields, banana groves and vegetable plots were also devastated.
Salimbangon said he was happy that the private sector has responded to his call to support the “Adopt a Family” program.
“We are now in the reconstruction stage of the damaged houses. Thanks to the NGOs (non-government organizations) who are now distributing construction materials such as GI sheets, plywood and lumber. This costs around P12,500 per house. They can send the materials or cash to the mayor of the town, to the office of the governor or through DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development),” Salimbangon said.
“We have to identify the beneficiaries. Operation Smile International and MSY Foundation sponsored 200 houses already. Since there are more than 60,000 houses, we are appealing for more sponsors. To our kind-hearted Cebuanos, please continue helping our typhoon survivors in northern Cebu,” Salimbangon added.
Cebu Provincial Board Member Shun Shimura, who also represents the fourth district, said the rehabilitation phase may move faster than expected because of the help from the private sector and foreign donors.
“So far, the typhoon survivors are slowly recovering with the help of the private sector, including foreign volunteers. Some areas in the mainland have electricity already. I filed a resolution thanking Cebeco (Cebu electric Cooperative) 1, 2 and 3, the Bohol Electric Cooperative, Negros Electric Cooperative and the Aboitiz Group for their rehabilitation of our electricity,” Shimura said. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 08, 2013.