• French firms to build homes for ‘Yolanda’ victims

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    FRENCH companies in the country have joined hands in a project to provide houses for Yolanda survivors in Northern Cebu, the first time that French companies in the Philippines have united in a project, French Ambassador to the Philippines Gilles Garachon 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 project to be implemented over a 12-month period will 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 the FPUA, said 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 Super Typhoon Yolanda.

    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.

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

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

    Mayor Augusto Corro of Daanbantayan, who estimated that rehabilitation efforts will cost P1 billion, said “this takes off some of the burden from the national government in terms of providing houses for the displaced residents.”

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