May 16

Turnover of 123 core shelters set April 28, DSWD to build another 50

SABANGAN.  The vibrant pink houses nestled amid mountains in this municipality have been catching the attention of travelers en route to Bontoc, the capital town, and to other municipalities in the province.

These colorful housing units which are easily mistaken as housing projects of a highland subdivision or that of Pag-ibig are in fact the relocation houses for families whose houses were built on hazardous areas as declared by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) after Typhoon “Pepeng” hit the region in 2009.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Field Office – Cordillera has led the construction of these shelters in June 2010 under the Core Shelter Assistance Project (CSAP). The CSAP is part of the agency’s program under the recovery and rehabilitation for disaster-hit areas in the region.

Data from the DSWD revealed that a total of 123 “core shelter” units amounting to PhP 8.6 million are ready for turnover towards the end of April to the beneficiaries in two areas of Mountain Province that include Tadian and Sabangan towns.

The DSWD grants PhP 70,000 for the construction of each shelter unit while the local government provides augmentation to this fund. The basic unit, which can be improved by the family, is constructed with two rooms, a comfort room, and a kitchen.

Around 83 units of these core shelters were built along the barangays of Bun-ayan, Bao-angan, Camatagan, and Pingad in Sabangan while another 40 units stand in the barangays of Poblacion, Tue, Bunga, Lubon, and Kayan in Tadian.

In a recent visit to the area, DSWD-Cordillera Regional Director Leonardo Reynoso said the agency is spearheading the turnover rites with the local government units of said areas on April 28.

The DSWD has noted good practices during the implementation to include the revival of the local “bayanihan” spirit called “ub-ubbu” where the community come together to work for the common good without remuneration. Conversely, the United Nations – World Food Programme has also assisted the people during the construction of the shelters through provision of food and cash for work.

Meanwhile, Director Reynoso awarded an additional PhP 3.5 million for the construction of another 50 core shelter units in Barangay Tue, Tadian. Director Reynoso said it is still part of the original proposal for the relocation of families affected by “Pepeng” in the area.

The DSWD has been working with local government units of Mt. Province through their local assessor, engineering, and social welfare offices, the MGB, and the Department of Science and Technology to ensure the proper construction of the core shelters and identified relocation areas are safe.

Earlier, the MGB has declared some areas in Mt. Province not fit for habitation due to dangers of mass movement and sinking especially during the rainy season. DSWD-CAR PR