New houses, jobs await storm survivors in Iloilo | Inquirer News
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New houses, jobs await storm survivors in Iloilo

/ 01:08 AM July 28, 2015

ILOILO CITY—Hundreds of people displaced by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) in Iloilo province will soon have their own houses, as well as jobs to rebuild their lives.

In Concepcion town, where the storm destroyed 5,441 houses on Nov. 8, 2013, at least 200 families will be permanently located in SM Cares village, Barangay Bacjawan Sur, and receive livelihood training and other assistance under a memorandum of agreement signed by Jaro Archdiocese Social Action Center (Jasac) and SM Foundation Inc. (SMFI).

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SMFI will donate P3 million for livelihood and “soft-core” projects that will be implemented within three years by Jasac in the village, 109 kilometers northeast of Iloilo City.

The 200 houses in SM Cares village are scheduled to be turned over to beneficiaries on Aug. 4. These are among the 1,000 dwellings being built or have been completed in similar projects in the Visayas to help survivors adjust to new living conditions and a new community, according to Marissa Fernan, vice president of SM Prime Holdings Inc.

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In Cebu province, 190 of the 200 houses in another SM Cares village in storm-hit Bogo City were awarded to survivors in November last year, Fernan said.

Four hundred houses are set to be turned over in Tacloban City in Leyte province before the end of August, while 200 more will be given in another Leyte city, Ormoc, in September.

Each house has a floor area of 20.25 square meters and a lot area of 23.25 sq m. The structures are designed to be typhoon-resistant and withstand wind velocity of up to 250 km per hour without major damage.

SM Cares villages will have amenities, including electricity, water, community center, basketball court, playground and school.

Msgr. Meliton Oso, Jasac director, said the type of livelihood and training would depend on the needs and skills of the beneficiaries. Products of livelihood projects of survivors will be marketed in SM malls, Fernan said.

The project will also include education and orientation on water, sanitation and health. “Some of them will be using toilet bowls with flushes for the first time,” Oso said.

Ilonggo philanthropist Ruth Tirol-Jarantilla, who donated the 1-hectare lot where the village is located, Concepcion Mayor Millar Villanueva and provincial administrator Raul Banias witnessed the signing of the agreement.

Fernan said scholarships and medical services would also be extended to the beneficiaries.

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