• EU completed 4000 houses for Pablo victims

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    THE collaboration of the European Union (EU) and the Red Cross led to the completion of more than 4,000 houses for the victims of Typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha) in the provinces of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley, which have been devastated by the said typhoon in December 2012.

    “The road to recovery and reconstruction is easier when all the stakeholders actively participate—the affected families, local government units, international organizations and non-government organizations,” European Union Ambassador Guy Ledoux said in a statement.

    The envoy was there during the ceremonial turnover of the certificates of ownership of homes made from traditional materials to 200 families from barangays Mamunga, Macopa, Naboc and San Isidro from Compostela Valley.

    At the ceremony held on Thursday in Barangay Macopa Gymnasium, Monkayo, Compostela Valley, Ledoux was joined by former Senator Richard Gordon, chief executive officer and chairman of the Philippine Red Cross and Roger Morgui, head of delegation, Spanish Red Cross as well as other local government officials involved in the implementation of the project.

    The European Union has provided €2.55 million or roughly P150 million in grants to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as well as  the Spanish and the German Red Cross societies in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross to help provide shelters to families affected by typhoon Pablo.

    Another €7.45 million or P440 million was given to other organizations to provide for immediate needs of families affected by typhoon Pablo including food, water and sanitation, shelter, livelihood and medical care.

    Ledoux pointed out that the families with damaged houses are given cash vouchers worth P10,000 with additional transport allowance to repair their homes. Those with totally damaged houses are provided with shelters costing between P30,000 to P75,000 which measure at least 20 square meters for a family of six.

    These shelters are constructed in lots either owned by the families themselves or in public lots assigned by the local government units. Lots are carefully selected to ensure that the shelters are built in hazard-free locations.

    Ledoux maintained that “the bulk purchase of the materials and the involvement of the community in the construction of the homes [with the able support of engineers and skilled workers from the Red Cross]ensured efficient and cost-effective results.”

    Typhoon Pablo hit the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on December 4, 2012. The storm affected the lives of more than six million people.

    By the time the storm dissipated on December 9, more than 1,000 were reported killed and over 850 reported missing.

    According to the United Nations, some 250,000 homes, public buildings and businesses were damaged or destroyed.

    Additionally, thousands of acres of agricultural land have been devastated including large coconut and banana plantations, leaving hundreds of thousands without food or income. BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON

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