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Friday, May 16, 2014
AT LEAST 128 houses and four multipurpose centers will be built on a new relocation site in Barangay Paypay, Daanbantayan for the town’s typhoon Yolanda survivors.
The town pooled its resources in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), France-Philippines United Action (FPUA) and the Cebu Provincial Government to build typhoon- and earthquake-resilient houses.
PRC Chairman Dick Gordon said in his speech that the organization is targeting to build 4,000 houses in northern Cebu.
He and Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro led the groundbreaking ceremony on the 1.3-hectare land in Barangay Paypay.
Other officials who attended were FPUA committee chairman and Lafarge Holdings Philippines Inc. President Don Lee and French Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines President Cyril Rocke, as well as Philippine Red Cross Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang.
Help from the Red Cross and other private sector donors has been crucial in rehabilitating communities that Yolanda struck last Nov. 8. Damage to agriculture and infrastructure has been estimated at P39 billion by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
As of its situation report last April 3, 2014, the council listed 6,293 killed by Yolanda, with more than 28,600 injured. At least 1,060 remained missing.
The typhoon also damaged or destroyed an estimated 1.14 million houses spread across several regions.
In an interview, Lee said the relocation site in Paypay cost US$2 million, including the site development. He said the houses that will be built in the area will be resistant to earthquake and can withstand 275-kph winds.
The multipurpose center that will be built on the same lot can be used as a health center, day care center or library, among other uses.
Lee said they hoped to finish it before the end of the year.
Corro’s younger sister Elaine Corro donated the land.
“Gusto ra gyud mi motabang (My family and I just want to help) especially since we are from this place,” the mayor said.
Lawyer Ramil Abing, assistant provincial administrator, said the Capitol helped by providing the heavy equipment used for the site development.
Charlito Ayco, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity, said the initial plan was 140 houses but PRC suggested 128. Habitat for Humanity is one of the sponsors of the resettlement housing project.
Ayco said the roads on the way to the area will be concreted and a drainage system will be provided.
The Paypay relocation site is the second resettlement area of the town. The first one is located in Barangay Agujo with an area of 5,400 square meters.
Lee said it will accommodate 75 houses and cost $1.2 million.
Construction of the first relocation site will be done by September.
Lee said that members of the French business community are helping each other to help the typhoon-affected areas. They targeted to build 500 houses in northern Cebu.
Corro thanked all the donors for their trust and confidence in Daanbantayan.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 17, 2014.