Houses destroyed due to typhoon ‘Seniang’

CATBALOGAN CITY – Families who lost their houses when a landslide hit their village due to typhoon ‘Seniang’ in 2014 will soon have their own permanent homes.
The affected families, now living in bunkhouses, are to live in houses donated by the Berjaya Corporation through Gawad Kalinga in Barangay Payao, about three kms away from the city center.
The houses of these families were totally destroyed when a landslide spawned by Seniang on December, 2014, hit their village of Mercedes.
The city government donated the eight-hectare relocation site with city and donors’ officials present during the formal groundbreaking of the project on August 3 with all the units, to include improvements to be made in the area, expected to be completed by 2020.
And just like any Gawad Kalinga housing project, the 40 family-beneficiaries are to provide their sweat equity by working at their own unit for 1,500 hours.
One of them is Pacencia Uy, 70, who lost a grandchild during the typhoon.
“I am thankful that I was chosen as one of the beneficiaries of this housing project,” she said, at her old age, still willing to work as her counterpart for the construction of her soon-to-own house.
Gawad Kalinga Samar coordinator Eduard Baltazar said that aside from volunteering at the project site, beneficiaries must also observe and follow the regulations impose for the community.
“Peace and harmony are our goal for this project. We cannot achieve this that if there are indifferences among community members,” he said.
Baltazar added that the Gawad Kalinga site in Catbalogan is their second site after Calbayog City.
He added that the project in Catbalogan is part of their target to build 5 million houses by 2022 for families who are displaced by calamities and disasters and those who are living in poverty and do not have means to have their own house.
Catbalogan City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan said that they are thankful to Gawad Kalinga and to the management of Berjaya Corporation for answering the need of her constituents.
“This is a two-year (housing project) in the making. Making this project into a reality is not easy. We are truly happy that Berjaya Company extended their hands to help us in Catbalogan,” Mayor Uy-Tan said.
“Many had doubted that this project will be implemented because it is already two years since we started our talks with them and completing the requirements. The LGU is really happy that soon the survivors of the landslide will have a better place to live in,” Mayor Uy-Tan added.
The city mayor also said that aside from the housing units, a public school from the Department of Education, two evacuation centers, including a building intended for youth offenders and drug surrenderees, and housing project funded by Pag-ibig Fund will also be constructed in Brgy. Payao. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)