Soldiers help build homes for typhoon victims

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The full-concrete, modified core houses were designed to withstand climate extremes. Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan

Davao Oriental (August 7) – Backing the government’s relentless efforts in providing permanent shelters to typhoon Pablo victims, the Philippine Army continues to partner with the provincial and national government in helping build permanent homes in some areas in the hard-hit towns.

Only recently, some 121 new homes, constructed by the Philippine Army, were turned over to beneficiaries in Brgy. Ban-ao in Baganga and Brgy. Alegria in Cateel.

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Commanding Officer of the 544th Engineer Construction Battalion, LTC Eldred Ragpala, said that this milestone is a testament of the Philippine Army’s genuine endeavor to help people restore their lives through ‘bayanihan’.

Realized through the Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP), the project implementation is executed through the collaboration of the national and provincial government, and the Philippine Army. This program is bent on providing stable and long-term housing for typhoon-affected families in the east coast.

While the construction cost was funded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the resettlement site was subsidized by the provincial government, the Philippine Army’s 544th Engineer Construction Battalion, on the other hand, took charge of the labor counterpart.

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DSWD Provincial Coordinator, Gemma dela Cruz, during the turn over ceremony lauded the soldiers’ assistance in giving people an opportunity to start a new life.

To date, there are already about 2,171 houses that have been turned over across the typhoon hard-hit areas of Cateel, Baganga and Boston, including those built by the Philippine Army.

Aside from houses, the army’s construction team also helped build schools and other development projects.

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Gov. Corazon N. Malanyaon reminded the beneficiaries to also offer their counterpart by not only keeping their communities clean, but also help themselves improve their lives by seizing the abounding livelihood opportunities that would aid them break out from the clutches of poverty.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Army urged the residents to help preserve the peace and order in their own communities. LTC Micheal A. Banua, 67th Infantry Battalion Commander, encouraged them to do their fair share in keeping their communities peaceful and become active in the government’s development efforts. PIO with report from Van Jorain O. Rufin

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