A DISASTER-resilient housing project is being eyed for construction by the National Government in coastal areas across the country.

The all-concrete igloo-like housing is seen to resist strong winds during typhoons, fire-proof and termite-proof.

On Saturday, January 22, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) led by Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario inspected the existing model house for the new modality of housing located in Amber Trail Water Park Resort in Barangay San Pablo, Mexico, Pampanga.

Dubbed as "My Balai," the 45-square-meter has one bedroom and one toilet and bath, a loft, and is surrounded with steel casement windows.

Del Rosario said the resilient houses are initially eyed for construction in Batanes province, which is frequently visited by typhoons.

“Just recently, we were hit by Typhoon ‘Odette,’ which damaged 1.2 million houses, so this kind of typhoon-resilient technology is really needed especially in areas along the country’s eastern coastline which is usually hit by typhoons,” he said.

Del Rosario added that the cost for construction of the said houses is low, as it is estimated to only be around P250,000 for a bare-type unit.

He added that materials for construction of the said unit are usually readily-available and do not need importation.

“As of now, we are looking at Batanes province first because they already use this kind of technology but we are hopeful that it will also be socially-acceptable in other typhoon-prone areas in the country,” Del Rosario said.

Accessible housing for all

Meanwhile, Homeowners Partylist first nominee Leira Buan, who was also present during the inspection, vowed to make housing projects more accessible to Filipinos who cannot afford to have a decent home.

As a former DSHUD assistant secretary, Buan said she will partner with the agency and other national government offices to ensure that Filipinos will have decent housing, if elected in the coming May 2022 polls.

“Bilang dating assistant secretary, alam ko at nakita ko ang mga problema at pwedeng projects sa housing para sa bawat pamilyang Pilipino kaya makikipag-tie up tayo sa kanila para makarating sa grassroots ang programa ng gobyerno,” she said.

If given a seat in Congress, Buan also said she will prioritize the institutionalization of DHSUD policies to ensure the continuity of housing programs for Filipinos.

“Isasabatas natin ang mga polisiya para maiwasan iyong practice na kapag nagbabago ang administrasyon, nawawala din ang mga programa. Kaya isa sa unang gagawin natin ay gumawa ng bill na magsasabatas ng mga magagandang programa at polisiya ng DHSUD,” Buan said.

(We will turn these policies into law to sustain this program. What we will do if we get elected is to craft laws that will support these programs and policies of the DHSUD.)