New homes restore hope of Pablo-affected families

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Province of Davao Oriental— Restoring hope after a major calamity, the government’s provision of new homes to disaster-stricken families offers a promise for a new beginning.

“If not for the government providing us with these new houses, probably, we would still be left homeless and hopeless,” said 62 year old Iluminado Oggod of Barangay Sibajay in Boston town, whose house was completely torn down by typhoon Pablo. “I never expected that I would be given a house of my own. It completely restored my hope to dream again for my family,” he said.

Eager to move in to her new home, an elderly resident of Cateel, Angela dela Zalde also conveyed her overwhelming bliss as she received the certificate of occupancy. “Though everything we had were lost, they had all been replaced with plenty of blessings, including this new house” she said, describing her new home to be more beautiful than what her family used to live before the rampaging storm in 2012.

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These folks along with their kin are only two of the 700 families in the three hard-hit towns of Boston, Cateel and Baganga who were given the opportunity to start anew as the provincial government backed by the support of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) turned over recently another batch housing units.

Under the Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP), more than 2,000 houses have already been implemented on the ground. Bulks of them were already turned over to its respective recipients, enjoying the comforts and security it provided.

DSWD Assistant Regional Director Mila T. Segovia, who was present during the latest turn over ceremony, said the agency intends to expedite the construction of houses to complete the target number of housing units of approximately 20,000, which DSWD hopes to finish within the year.

Gov. Corazon N. Malanyaon lauded the efforts of the DSWD for standing ready especially when it comes to providing long-term shelters to the hapless typhoon victims, who can’t build houses on their own, given their lack of financial resources.

She further underscored how convergence and partnership offered by the DSWD with the provincial government had successfully accomplished many undertakings for development, which includes implementation of a housing project in a massive scale and livelihood, among others.

Gov. Malanyaon joined by DSWD XI Assistant Regional Director Mila T. Segovia, hands over certificate of occupancy to beneficiaries of the Modified Shelter Assistance Project for typhoon Pablo victims.

Gov. Malanyaon joined by DSWD XI Assistant Regional Director Mila T. Segovia, hands over certificate of occupancy to beneficiaries of the Modified Shelter Assistance Project for typhoon Pablo victims.

COMPLEMENTING EFFORTS

While the national and local governments have jointly poured in resources in building communities, the provincial government led by Gov. Malanyaon urged the housing beneficiaries to complement these assistance by offering their cooperation and help in building their own communities toward prosperity and development.

She encouraged them to take advantage on the surge of opportunities, particularly on livelihood as the province now aggressively pushes for investments on agriculture, particularly in the massive planting of oil palm, cacao and coconuts, among other crops.

Aside from these, the provincial government recently announced about making an inventory of unemployed residents and helping them find jobs that suits their skills.

While a massive demand for construction works is a current boom, she also encouraged residents to grab the opportunity of taking available jobs, which will not only provide income but will also hone their skills in terms of construction.

To date, the province has a cornucopia of infrastructure projects funded under the Typhoon Pablo Task Force. These include schools, houses, and public facilities, among many others.   By KLD/Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan

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