CEBU CITY - At least 300 houses, a health center and a multipurpose building will be built on a 2.9-hectare relocation site in Barangay Mano, San Remegio for survivors of Typhoon Yolanda.

The San Remigio Municipal Government, in cooperation with Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) and Hilfswerk Austria International (HAI), will implement the relocation project.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Monday in Purok Ipil-ipil in Mano, headed by Mayor Mariano Martinez.

Together with the mayor were Honorary Consul to Austria Julie Vergara, RAFI executive director for Integrated Development Unit Margaret Ann Gravador, HAI managing director Heidi Burkhart and HAI project manager in the Philippines Susanne Chylik.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, there were at least 6,293 persons who died and 28,689 who suffered injuries when Typhoon Yolanda hit the Visayas last November 8, 2013.

Yolanda also destroyed P19.5 billion worth of infrastructure and P20.2 billion worth of crops and agricultural equipment.

In San Remegio, Martinez said, at least 624 families live in the unsafe zones. These do not include those families who lost their houses but live away from the shore.

REBUILDING TOGETHER. At the launch of a relocation project in San Remigio, offi cials drop a time capsule. They are (from left) Hilfswerk Austria Project Manager Susanne Chylik; Mano, San Remigio Barangay Captain Eleazar Mahinay; Austrian Honorary Consul Julie Alegrado-Vergara; Hilfswerk Austria Managing Director Heidi Burkhart; Marge Gravador of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.; and San Remigio Mayor Mariano Martinez. (Sun.Star Photo/Allan Cuizon)

The town has 14 coastal barangays out of 27.

The relocation site in Mano is the third relocation site of the town and, Martinez said, cost P2.9 million.

HAI provided the funds for the construction of the new houses.

Burkhart said the houses that will be built will use, among other supplies, integrated concrete earth blocks that will make the house withstand typhoons and earthquakes.

Each house will have a lot area of 50 to 60 square meters and a floor area of 20 square meters.

In her speech, Burkhart said the group had a televised campaign where they drew a lot of donors who gave help for the Yolanda survivors.

“What we can do is to bring our knowledge, our international experience (to the project),” she said.

Aside from the relocation site, San Remegio will provide the roads, water and power for the 300 families.

Toilets and septic tank are also included in HAI’s funding support.

Based on the memorandum of agreement signed last March 27, the municipality will train 100 beneficiaries and offer them jobs at the construction site.

RAFI is tasked to choose the beneficiaries of the housing project.

In the MOA, a potential beneficiary will qualify if his or her house was destroyed; if the family has received inadequate assistance for house repairs; the current residence is within the “no-build zone”; the family does not own the house they are currently living in; and they are willing to be relocated.

Beneficiaries will also include females who head their households; a family that takes care of an elderly person 60 years old or older; persons with disability; and orphaned children. The beneficiary must be endorsed by the local government unit.

On behalf of RAFI chief operating officer Dominica Chua, Gravador said they will form a committee who will screen potential beneficiaries.

“It’s the partnership that will work together to come up with a very, very successful village,” Gravador said.

The new relocation site will be called the Filipino-Austrian Village.

Martinez said that members of Philippine Army (PA) will come to help in the site development, as arranged by the Provincial Government.

The mayor said his town was chosen as the beneficiary of the project based on Vergara’s recommendation.

Mano Barangay Captain Eleazar Mahinay thanked the sponsors of the relocation project.

San Remegio also has a 2.8-hectare relocation site in Barangay Argawanon and 1.8 hectares in Barangay San Miguel.

The municipality’s partner in Argawanon is the National Housing Authority. The housing project aims to build 391 houses.

At least 30 houses have been constructed in San Miguel in partnership with Gawad Kalinga. (FMG)