• French firms build disaster-resilient homes for ‘Yolanda’ victims


    FRENCH companies in the country have united to reach out to communities in Northern Cebu that were affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

    French Ambassador to the Philippines Gilles Garachon said that this is the first time that French companies in the Philippines united to have a common project, which is to provide houses for Yolanda survivors.

    “As we all know, we French people are working independently but they now decide to work as one in helping the victims of the calamity,” he said.

    The goal was realized through the creation of the France-Philippines United Action (FPUA) that will coordinate the French business community’s relief efforts in Northern Cebu.

    He said the FPUA, which will implement the project over a 12-month period, will ensure that activities are sustained, well organized, and have the most impact.

    Garachon added that French businesses that are members of FPUA are set to build disaster-resistant houses in Northern Cebu as one of the rehabilitation activities aimed to help more than 30,000 affected households in the area.

    Don Lee, head of FPUA, said that the first phase of the rebuilding efforts involves the construction of a “French Village” in Daanbantayan, a coastal town in Northern Cebu that was among those hardest hit by the super typhoon.

    For phase one, 100 row houses donated by various members of the French business community will be constructed, with the new community to occupy 5,400 square meters of land donated by the Cebu provincial government.

    “As we see the outpouring of continuous relief support given to those affected, we would like to supplement these inspirational efforts by launching the rebuilding of permanent homes in these surrounding communities,” said Lee.

    Habitat for Humanity, on the other hand, will provide architectural supervision in coming up with the unique design of the houses.

    Charlie Ayco, chief operating officer and managing director of Habitat, said that the disaster-resistant, durable and beautiful structures, were designed to withstand an intensity 8 earthquake as well as 275-kilometer per hour winds.

    Mayor Augusto Corro of Daanbantayan, who estimated that rehabilitation efforts will cost P1 billion, said that the project will positively impact the restoration process of their town.

    “This takes off some of the burden from the national government in terms of providing houses for the displaced residents. We are very appreciative of these efforts,” he added.


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