PALO, Leyte-Some 500 families of this town whose houses were totally destroyed during the aftermath of supertyphoon Yolanda would soon have their homes courtesy of the members of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII).
Last April 11, 2014, a simple ground-breaking ceremony for the development of the relocation site located at Barangay Barayong was held attended by key officials of the FFCCCII led by its chairman emeritus, Lucio Tan.
The housing project, dubbed as Filipino-Chinese Friendship Village, would be the home of about 500 families coming from different villages of Palo whose houses were totally destroyed by Yolanda.
Aside from constructing houses to the now homeless typhoon victims, the area would also be constructed with five- unit school buildings with two-classrooms each, said FFCCCII president Alfonso Siy.
Siy said that if their chairman emeritus Tan will like the outcome of the friendship village, he might add more units of houses. “Dr. Tan is few of the most generous people in the Philippines,” Siy said.
“Right now we are constructing 300 houses for the people affected by typhoon Sendong in Compostela Valley, Cagayan. After that, we will proceed with the construction of the houses here,” Siy added.
The construction of the houses will cost P40 million to P45 million while the school buildings with 10 classrooms will be at P2 million.
Some five hectares have been identified by the local government to host the project in Barayong, a mountainous village about two kilometers away from the town proper.
“We are thankful to the Filipino-Chinese community. The local government unit of Palo and the Department of Social Development and Welfare will screen those who will stay in the friendship village which will comprise families from the different villages badly hit by the typhoon. We will prioritize those who are still staying in tents as their temporary shelter,” Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominic Petilla said.
The governor added that a new community will be created in Barayong, the villagers will be given livelihood program, a public market aside from the school.
“It is definitely be a village, within a village,” Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said in his speech, as he promised that power supply would be provided immediately to the area.
Petilla, who was among the invited guests, enthused that the province of Leyte is very lucky with its partnership with the group of Tan.
“So far this is the biggest housing assistance given by a private group to typhoon Yolanda survivors in Palo. We presented our development plan for a new Palo to our guests during a simple program after the groundbreaking as they might be interested to invest here,” Petilla added.
According to FFCCCII secretary general Fernando Gan, the materials are pre-fabricated and there will be 5-houses in a row. Each unit will have 21-sqm. and one common comfort room.
Gan said the funding for the projects came from the different affiliated organizations led by the FFCCCII Foundation Inc., Federation of Filipino-Chinese Associations of the Philippines, World News Daily, Filipino-Chinese Amity Club, Overseas Chinese Alumni Association of the Philippines, Filipino-Chinese Shin Lian Association, and the Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc.
Go Tic Ching, president of the Tacloban Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (TFCCCI) and other officers graced the affair. (VICKY C.LANTING)