DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/29 January) — The shelter cluster of the international assistance for typhoon Pablo victims is eyeing to build a total of 96,000 houses in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental in Region 11 and in some parts of the Caraga Region.
Tom Bamforth, shelter cluster coordinator, said in an interview Tuesday at the Pinnacle Hotel and Suites here a total of 42,000 houses had been built for the victims.
The shelter cluster will build 54,000 more houses in six to eight months time with an additional fund of $15 million.
The amount will come from the $76 million requested by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) from foreign donors for its revised action plan.
The $76 million will fund 46 projects for families affected by Pablo, Luiza Carvalho, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator for the Philippines, said in a statement last January 25.
Carvalho said the need for emergency and durable shelter is critical, citing that about 216,000 homes were damaged by Pablo.
“The needs for shelter outweigh the resources provided,” Bamforth told reporters, noting that the earlier appeal for about US$10 million for shelter assistance was only a rough estimate after the typhoon.
“After more assessment, we realized that there are more needs. We have collectively underestimated the impacts of Pablo,” he added.
The additional fund from foreign donors will be given to Pablo victims in the form of shelter kits for both temporary and permanent shelters.
A shelter kit will contain galvanized iron sheets, carpentry tools, cement, gravel and lumber among other materials to rebuild or repair houses, Bamforth cited.
The shelter kits are apart from the bunkhouses for temporary shelters and the core shelter program of the Philippine government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), he said.
He explained that the money from foreign donors channeled through the UN-OCHA will be released to the implementing agencies such as the World Vision International, Plan International, Catholic Relief Services and Save the Children, among others.
These groups will handle the purchase and distribution of shelter kits to Pablo-hit areas, he said.
The World Vision will give tents to 300 families in Cateel, Davao Oriental and shelter assistance to 375 families in Agusan del Sur, Aaron Aspi, the group’s communications specialist, said.
Priscilla Razon, regional director of DSWD-11, said in her report to the Regional Development Council meeting Tuesday the typhoon totally damaged 54,588 houses and partially damaged 92,740 others.
The agency said it had started to build 60 bunkhouses in Davao Oriental and 23 others in Compostela Valley worth P60.1 million.
Forty-six units had been completed in Davao Oriental and two units in Compostela Valley, it said.
Razon cited that aside from the weather conditions and lack of workers the “indecision of local government units and the Philippine Army on the exact location where the bunkhouses will be constructed” had caused a delay in the construction of the bunkhouses.
She said partner agencies had donated 45,547 shelter kits in Compostela Valley and 13,153 in Davao Oriental. The kits contained two pieces of tarpaulin, rope, handsaw, nails, tie wire and hammer.
For the first half this year the core shelter program of the DSWD eyes to build 47,048 permanent houses worth P4.704 billion distributed as follows: 26,205 units in compostela Valley, 20,663 in Davao Oriental, 102 in Davao del Norte and 78 in Davao del Sur. (Lorie Ann Cascaro/MindaNews)