Daanbantayan, Cebu – Seventy-two-year-old Lola Pacing Tayong sat quietly at the door of her newly-built house in Barangay Paypay, this town, watching kids playing outside on a newly paved road. Her 70-year-old paralyzed husband was in a donated bed, sound asleep.
“We feel comfortable and safe here. Our house near the shoreline had not been repaired since two years ago. This time, we can sleep soundly without having to worry about rising tides,” Lola Pacing said.
She recounted the terror she felt two years ago today when the super-typhoon lashed at her house. Her husband suffered a stroke during the onslaught of Yolanda.
Lola Pacing’s family was one of 128 families in Barangay Paypay whose house was ravaged by super-typhoon Yolanda in 2013. Exactly two years after the destruction wrought by the typhoon, survivors in the barangay here have moved to new, safer houses in the first fully-developed Red Cross Village in the town.
The village is a unique project and the first-fully developed resettlement site for typhoon victims in the Philippines. The area was donated by the Corro family.
Lola Pacing and other beneficiaries now have houses they can call their own – a 30 square meter typhoon enhanced housing unit with a bathroom and latrine, a septic tank, and a decentralized treatment system for grey and used waters.
Energy is provided through a 33-kilowatt photovoltaic power plant, installed through the efforts of the Red Cross and Electricians Without Boarders, a French NGO, enabling all households to access electricity at half the price.
“Better and safe housing is key to recovery but it is only by providing proper water sanitation and energy access and making sure that people have access to livelihoods that we can support their long term resilience,” said Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon.
French Ambassador to the Philippines, Thierry Mathou, who graced the inauguration of the housing projects, assured the Philippines that the assistance of the French government will not end with the completion of the housing project.
Mathou said France will continue to support disaster risk reduction initiatives in the Philippines.
It was immediately after typhoon Yolanda when the France-Philippines United Actions (FP-UA), a consortium of leading French companies operating in the Philippines, was created to coordinate the relief and rehabilitation efforts of the French business community in the Philippines.
The P84-million project in Barangay Paypay was implemented with the support of the French Red Cross, and in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Philippines and France-Philippines United Action. French companies such as Total, Sanofi, and Caisse des Depots also donated to realize the project.
Gordon said the housing in Brgy. Paypay is part of the Philippine Red Cross’s three-year $360-million recovery plan for 500,00 people in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Leyte, Eastern and Western Samar, Cebu and Palawan.
At the newly paved road inside the housing project in Brgy. Paypay, five -year-old Christian happily played with his new neighbors while their parents were busy preparing for the foreign visitors.
“I like it here. The place is clean and smells good,” Christian told the Manila Bulletin prior to the inauguration of the new houses inside the village.
Source: Manila Bulletin