Army personnel skip meals to buy lot, build homes for quake victims

Using the P9.2 million collected from the Philippine Army personnel’s meal allowances,  the Army is buying a 4.9-hectare lot on which to build temporary shelters for Mindanao’s quake victims.

Army chief Lt. Gen. Macairog Alberto formally turned over the cash on Thursday to the 10th infantry division commander Maj. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr. and disaster response task force commander Brig. Gen. Rodolfo Lavadia Jr., who have been tasked to buy the land for the temporary homes.

“In these trying times, we are in solidarity with the people of Mindanao. The funds donated will be used to purchase a lot and build 100 homes where the evacuees can transfer to, so that their children can use the schools” now being used as temporary shelters, Alberto said in a statement on Thursday.

He said the funds were pooled from the allowances of Army troopers who had donated two meals for the project.

Shelters for family of 7

Aside from the land, the P9.2 million cash will go to construction materials to build houses that can accommodate a family of seven and which cost P50,000 each, Alberto said.

Soldiers from the 534th engineer construction battalion built a prototype of the shelter made mostly of wood, he added.

A series of quakes in Makilala, North Cotabato last month destroyed 60 percent of the homes in the area, while eight of 38 barangays in the town have been declared “no-build zones” and are uninhabitable, Alberto said.