Governor Hilario P. Davide III and Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) Head of Mission- Yolanda Response Operation, Syed Shanawaz Ali signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the construction of 270 houses for the two towns in Bantayan Island.
Vice Governor Agnes Magpale also affixed her signature in a short signing ceremony at the Capitol on Friday, February 14.
“In behalf of the province of Cebu, we thank your group for the assistance you’re giving us. It is really good see that people like you, helping us, helping each other in Bantayan to build the province,” the governor said.
“We really hope that our rehabilitation and reconstruction program will succeed. We hope to finish this in a years’ time. We know it’s a very challenging task but we are determined to give all the assistance that our constituents need in these affected 15 towns and one city,” he added.
Ali also expressed appreciation on the clear direction of the province’rehabilitation efforts. With Davide’s leadership, he added that what happened may be seen as an opportunity to improve the tourism industry in Bantayan.
Ali said their initial commitment is 120 houses in Sta. Fe and 150 in Bantayan town. The estimated budget for each house is P75 to P80 thousand excluding the cost of transportation of materials, which will be shouldered by the province of Cebu.
The construction is expected to be finished in two and a half months.
A demonstration house has been constructed and suited to the local culture. Ali described the houses as resilient in the sense that these will be located in safe areas. The roof will have four sides and will be tied with typhoon straps so that it will not be easily carried by the winds. It will also have a ceiling.
Apart from the shelters, IRW also donated 1,636 tents, 3,000 tarpaulins, food to 20,000 families, shelter repair kits to 2,000 families as part of their emergency response after the onslaught of the typhoon Yolanda
They also have a livelihood program, which will start in March. The work includes making souvenir items like T-shirt printing.
Vice Governor Agnes Magpale believes this will sell because Bantayan Island is known as a tourist destination because of their white powdery beaches and old churches.
IRW is identified with Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), the project donor of the Typhoon Haiyan Response and Early Recovery Program. It is a consortium of aid agencies in the United Kingdom (UK). Generous individuals and communities in UK donated the funds. Xerxes Alkuino