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First disaster-resilient village soon to rise in Cebu province

| by: Stanley Cin

IMG_2157Close to a hundred disaster-resistant houses are set to rise at a resettlement site intended for coastal communities displaced by supertyphoon Yolanda in the town of Daanbantayan.This will be the first disaster-resilient village in Cebu province.

The project is initiated by the French-Philippines United Action (FPUA) throughLafarge Cement Co.  in partnership withthe Cebu Provincial Government, Municipal Government of Daanbantayan and Habitat for Humanity-Philippines. The projectbroke ground last Saturday in Barangay Agujo.

The provincial government donated a 5,400 square meter lotas resettlement site for the estimated 3,000 families that were relocated from the coastal areas that were classified as “no-build zones.”

According to Mayor Augusto Corro of Daanbantayan, “This is just the first resettlement site and more will be created with the help of Lafarge and Habitat for Humanity.” He also added that his sister, Elaine, will also donate a three hectare lot in Daanbantayan to be used as additional resettlement site.

Lafarge Cement Co., the world’s largest cement manufacturer, will supply the buildingmaterials while Habitat for Humanity,which designed the disaster-resilient houses,will also work on the actual construction.

Rene Sunico, a member of FPUA and representative of Lafarge Philippines, said they chose Cebu because several French companies operate here. To date, 17 French business establishments had contributed in helping typhoon victims, particularly in Northern Cebu.

Meanwhile, Cyril Rocke, president of the French Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, said more French establishments have vowed to support the construction of houses for typhoon victims

Houses will be ready in six months

Don Lee, chairman of FPUA, said the village, costing $500 thousand, will be ready in six months.

The units were full grants and beneficiaries don’t have to pay for them, but they have to commit to help in building other units for other beneficiaries, said Don Lee.

“We want to help families get back on their feet by delivering the peace of mind that comes from a safe and durable home. We are privileged to be working with architects from Habitat for Humanity, who had designed disaster relief houses that will withstand the deteriorating climate situation in the Philippines,” Lee said.

Habitat for Humanity Philippines Chief Executive Officer Charlie Ayco, explained that the design of the houses would be able to resist earthquakes and typhoons.

Each unit sits on a 3.5 sq.m. by 6.5 sq.m. lot with a roof made of thin concrete and would cost about P200 thousand.

A step closer 

Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro said the groundbreaking ceremony marked another breakthrough and is a step closer to their dream of building a new Daanbantayan.

He described the massive destruction brought about by supertyphoon Yolanda in Central Visayas which includedDaanbantayan where 95 percent of the town structures were destroyed.

“Yes, Daanbantayan fell on its knees, but it is determined to shake the dust off and move forward,” Mayor Corro said in his speech.

The mayor thanked those who helped make the resettlement project a reality. These include French Ambassador Gilles Garachon, France-Philippines United Action CEO/President Lafarge Don Lee, Habitat for Humanity Philippines Chief Executive Officer Charlie Ayco, President of the French Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines Cyril Rocke, and the Cebu provincial government. Heart Rizarri