NEARLY 600 homes have been turned over to beneficiaries in two sites in Bantayan, Cebu free of charge under a program by the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the local government.

A total of 230 homes at Kabyayan ni San Vicente were turned over to beneficiaries from the following barangays: Kampingganon (116), Kabangbang (40), Bantigue (55), Kangkaibe (16), and Atop-atop (3), during a turnover ceremony held in Barangay Kampingganon on Nov. 20, 2021.

At Kabyayan ni Orongel, 362 homes were turned over to beneficiaries from Barangay Bantigue (109), Binaobao (103), Baod (112), Guiwanon (26), Patao (7), and Kampingganon (5), the Municipality of Bantayan announced.

On the same occasion, the NHA and the Municipality, under Mayor Arthur Despi, undertook the signing of a Deed of Donation and Acceptance.

Despi urged the beneficiaries to take good care of their homes, reminding them of how rare it was to be gifted with a house and titled land.

Also on hand at the turnover were Municipal Administrator Juana Gerzon and some Sangguniang Bayan members, and NHA officials led by NHA officer-in-charge Cebu District Office Dante Estrobo and NHA supervising engineer Jeffry Arranguez.

The NHA has been on a building and turnover blitz in northern Cebu in the last three months.

A day earlier, on Nov. 19, the NHA Central Visayas (NHA 7) broke ground for the building of 169 housing units in the northeastern Cebu town of Poro under the program to resettle super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) survivors.

Last Nov. 5, the agency also broke ground in Tudela town for the construction of 158 housing units.

On Nov. 4, the NHA 7 broke ground for the construction of 406 housing units in Pilar town.

Last September, the NHA 7 also started turning over 750 free housing units to Yolanda survivors in Bogo City.

Typhoon Yolanda, the strongest storm to make landfall in recorded history, destroyed homes and structures in northern Cebu on Nov. 8, 2013.

In the aftermath of the storm, it was decided to relocate settlers in so-called no-build zones (all areas within 40 meters from the shoreline) and other high-risk areas.