The Diocese of Dumaguete, in cooperation with the city government, will present the first batch of housing units Friday to families displaced by tropical storm “Sendong”.
Fr. Burton Villarmente, coordinator of the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Dumaguete, said the first 12 houses will be completed Friday and handed over to a pre-screened batch of typhoon victims, who had complied with the requirements of the program.
Constructed on the 5,000-hectare lot in Barangay Bajumpandan donated by the city, the structures are part of the original 115 that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, through the National Secretariat for Social Action, agreed to subsidize.
Cynthia Perez of CBCP-NASSA said during her visit last week that the CBCP-NASSA decided to increase the 115 units to 150. Of this, 58 will be built in the present project site.
Villarmente said he hopes the city government will identify and acquire another lot where the remaining houses will be built, as the deadline for completion of all units is September 2012.
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Region 7 is urging local government units to speed up the acquisition of lots for the construction of houses for victims of typhoons and other calamities in Negros Oriental.
Aileen Lariba of DSWD said the lack of a lot, that is the LGU’s counterpart in the national government’s Core Shelter Program, slows down the process of making housing for displaced families.
In fact, she said the checks representing the national government’s funding allocation for LGUs are already turning stale.
Except for Dumaguete City, other LGUs were not ready. The money was already available as early as 2010 for victims of previous calamities in the province.
Lariba said the Department of Budget and Management will revoke the allocation if the LGUs fail to comply with the requirements.
The officials should fast-track the construction of the houses and not wait until election period next year as the project may be covered by the poll ban, she added.*JFP
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