New homes for quake survivors in Davao del Sur
MAGSAYSAY, Davao del Sur—The National Housing Authority (NHA) is building houses for families here rendered homeless by a series of powerful earthquakes that hit Davao del Sur province in October.
Mayor Arthur Davin said the 2.5-hectare land at Barangay Malawanit where the houses would be built was purchased for the local government by the party list Dumper PTDA (Philippines Taxi Drivers Association), through Rep. Claudine Diana Bautista.
NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada inspected the relocation site at Purok 5 here last week.
At least 71 prefabricated houses would be put up in the area for families whose homes were destroyed and whose communities were declared unsafe because of ground cracks and landslides.
A total of 117 families in Malawanit alone had been displaced by the temblors. Some of the evacuees already built their houses through the financial assistance given by nongovernmental organizations and other groups.
First quarter target
Escalada said the NHA would build a 25-square-meter house with a septic tank and energy panel for each beneficiary. He assured that the houses, worth P260,000 each, would be completed in three to four months.
Magsaysay is one of the hardest hit towns in Davao del Sur from the powerful quakes that struck central Mindanao in October.
Davin said the local government was targeting to put up 15 relocation sites to accommodate the 1,662 families displaced by the quakes. The property where two of these sites would be built would be bought next month, he said.
Escalada said the NHA would start building houses for other displaced families in the province within the first quarter of 2020 as they started inspecting proposed sites.
He said these sites should be issued clearances by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, indicating these were free from hazards.
Rolando Teves Jr., NHA manager for Davao region, said the program covered families whose communities had been declared “no-build” zones.
Under the program, local governments will have to acquire the land for the relocation site while the NHA will build the houses.
Teves said some towns, such as Hagonoy, were seeking assistance from the national government to purchase land.
Apart from Magsaysay, the towns of Padada, Hagonoy, Kiblawan, Matanao and Bansalan are in need of relocation sites.
The number of evacuees in Davao del Sur rose following a 6.9-magnitude temblor that hit the province on Dec. 15.
Records from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office as of
Dec. 19 showed that 2,760 houses were destroyed by the latest earthquake, while 11,412 were damaged.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.