Caritas Swiss turns over houses to 593 families

ALMOST four years ago, Crisanta Poquita and her family were living under plastic covers after their hut was blown away by super typhoon Yolanda.

Today, the 40-year-old has a new house in Barangay San Agustin, Madridejos, which she shares with her children.

She and 592 families were recipients of new homes built by the nongovernment organization Caritas Switzerland.

The group spent P6.3 million to build houses in Barangays Tugas, Pili, Kaongkod, Kangwayan and San Agustin in Madridejos and in the island of Kinatarcan in Sta. Fe under its Owner-Driven Reconstruction Project.

Caritas Swiss also trained survivors in resiliency and sustainability and on how to manage their finances.

Presiosa Derro, Caritas Swiss social housing management coordinator, said each beneficiary received P100,000.

The houses are made of mixed materials, mostly indigenous, and took three weeks to erect.

The houses were turned over to the beneficiaries in a formal ceremony in Madridejos yesterday.

Aside from the 593 households assisted by Caritas Swiss, more than 400 others were also assisted by other NGOs.

Local officials, though, admitted that housing the town's residents who were affected by the typhoon continues to be a problem.

Former Madridejos mayor Salvador dela Fuente said 6,000 affected households have yet to receive housing assistance.

Dela Fuente, who is now the vice mayor, said the National Housing Authority promised to construct new houses for the survivors as early as 2014, but due to documentation problems, the project has yet to push through.

But the agency has been asking the town for a list of beneficiaries, he said, so maybe hope is at hand.
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