‘Adopt a barangay’

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Monday, December 9, 2013


THE Task Force Paglig-on of the Cebu Provincial Government is implementing an “adopt-a-barangay” program as part of the rehabilitation work in communities typhoon Yolanda has affected.

Capitol consultant Baltazar Tribunalo Jr., who heads the task force, said government agencies and private institutions will be encouraged to identify a barangay or area where they want to help by donating construction materials and other items.

Based on the initial report of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, at least 24,000 houses were damaged, while almost 35,000 were destroyed by the typhoon a month ago.

A report of the Task Force Paglig-on showed that 58 barangays in northern Cebu have received construction materials, temporary shelter materials and kitchen utensils from the Capitol and private groups, including international agencies.

By asking donors to focus on a barangay, the task force hopes to prevent duplication of assistance and to send aid to communities that need it.

When Yolanda struck the country’s center last Nov. 8, it destroyed at least 551,991 houses and damaged 596,888 others, the national disaster council reported. About 3.98 million persons were driven from their homes and at least P35 billion worth of infrastructure and crops damaged.

Tribunalo said it’s possible for more than one donor group to work in one barangay, if their assistance isn’t the same.

For instance, Sugbuanon Foundation and Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) both helped Barangay Baigad, Bantayan. Sugbuanon Foundation donated waterproof canvass, while PNRC donated mosquito nets, jerry cans, hygiene kits, kitchen sets, tarpaulins and shelter repair kits.

Card

Still in Bantayan, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. helped the islet barangays of Botigues and Hilotongan by providing waterproof canvass.

RAFI also helped the islet barangays of Hilantagan and Langub in Sta. Fe.

The Pasasadava clan donated hollow blocks and galvanized iron sheets in Barangay Malbago, Madridejos.

Tribunalo said that the Department of Social Welfare and Development has provided a card to each family that will record what forms of assistance they’ve received.

If a private individual would like to donate construction materials, he/she may go directly to the municipality and coordinate with the town officials or the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), he said.

Tribunalo said an acknowledgement receipt should be provided.

Aside from the construction materials, the provincial task force has also been working on the relocation site of the families in coastal barangays, who now have to move away from a 40-meter “no-build” zone.

Relocation

Last Saturday, the Municipality of Tudela inaugurated a relocation site, more than a hectare large, which can accommodate about 120 houses for residents in the coastal barangays of General and Southern Poblacion.

Tribunalo said among the challenges local officials face right now is that of raising resources to buy lots and persuading residents of coastal barangays to leave danger zones.

“I know we cannot please everyone. That is why we have to offer the best strategy. I think the best way is to positively implement the process,” Tribunal said.

He added that integrated livelihood programs, areas for recreational activities, power and water systems should be considered so that affected families would be encouraged to move to the relocation sites.

Meanwhile, the office of Vice President Jejomar Binay said that government shelter agencies will help former senator Panfilo Lacson, who heads rehabilitation efforts for typhoon Yolanda-ravaged areas.

“This is an enormous challenge that cannot be done by one person. Senator Lacson can count on my full support as well as that of the National Housing Authority (NHA) and other key shelter agencies,” Binay said in a press statement.

Actual count

Binay, as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, has approved the allocation of P10,000 for each of the 20,000 families in northern Cebu who suffered as s result of the typhoon.

However, NHA 7 General Manager Gavino Figuracion said that although the figure of 20,000 families came from the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, chief executives of local government units must submit an actual count of potential beneficiaries.

Aside from the NHA, the shelter agencies under the council are the Home Development Mutual Fund, Social Housing Finance Corp., Home Guaranty Corp., Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board and the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 09, 2013.

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