IT appears that even up to this date, help for the victims of the two calamities that hit the nation in the last quarter of last year has continued to pour even to this date. The latest is the one from the French Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (FCCP).

The French village project in Daanbantayan, according to its president, signals the start of “our long term engagement in the north of Cebu.”

Meanwhile, as token of its concern for our brother Cebuanos who have been victims of the same devastating acts of nature, Mandaue City officials led by their mayor, turned over P1.35 million in aid to three municipalities of Bantayan island.

The towns were said to be severely hit by super-typhoon Yolanda. Mandaue officials reportedly apportioned the amount in checks to Bantayan, P550,000; Madredejos, P400,000; and Sta. Fe, P400,000.

In a press conference at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino, the head of FCC Philippines said that while “typhoon-stricken areas received a lot of relief donations in the aftermath of the typhoon, member companies of the FCC wanted to develop projects that are tangible.”

The projected French village will be built in coordination with the Habitat for Humanity, which will provide the architectural supervision and oversee the construction of the village.

A new group called the France-Philippines United Action (FPUA) is supposed to implement the French village projects and plans to build the first row of 100 houses over a projected period of 12 months. It is the group’s hope that building the houses would make the difference to the beneficiaries in the long run.

The initial project funded by the business firms of France is designed “to help families get back on their feet.”

One of the French firms revealed that the company is donating S100,000 to construct 20 row houses, while its employees, through salary deduction, raised S15,000 “to build a multipurpose community center in the (envisioned) village.

The company--Lafarge Republic Inc.--announced earlier “that its commitment is to provide one million euros in relief supplies, logistical services, affordable housing services, and cash donations to support relief and recovery efforts in response to the damage caused by the super typhoon.”

And then, there is also a local “inter-agency committee composed of various agencies (that) will be formed to identify beneficiaries of the assistance. The selection is supposed to be based on the economic status, and priorities will be given to households with more children, differently-able family members and single-headed households.

The project head also said that they will continue to stay in their project areas after completion because they will incorporate livelihood.

In any case, it seems to me that the victims of the two calamities in northern Cebu are fortunate to “win” the sympathy of foreign and domestic groups that somehow possessed the good human heart of charity and kindness.