DSWD to get new NGO in Bohol housing project
Ric V. Obedencio (The Freeman) - January 9, 2016 - 9:00am

TAGBILARAN CITY, Philippines – Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman yesterday said they would replace Habitat for Humanity Foundation in the construction of core housing units to earthquake victims.

“We are changing Habitat. It’s unfortunate. That’s what happened. We need to change because they’re not delivering,” Soliman told a press conference yesterday held at JJs restaurant here.

She added the agency would be meeting with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a Geneva, Switzerland-based organization, which helped build houses in the aftermath of the tremor on October 15, 2013. But she did not give more details.

Soliman was responding to the query of The Freeman on the update of the core housing project that reportedly caused so much delay. She was with Budget Secretary Butch Abad and Governor Edgar Chatto during a gathering of local officials tackling Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB).

The change was seen as a dire effort due to the criticisms Habitat and the government are receiving due to the delay.

In Clarin, Bohol, officials and residents expressed lament that post-quake housing projects undertaken by Habitat remains at a snail pace two years after the magnitude-7.2 earthquake struck the province.

Chairperson Julita Miano of Barangay Tangaran of this town said in exclusive interview that of the 18 housing units for quake victims targeted by Habitat to construct, only six were completed. Of the 8,000 plus core houses for the 2013 earthquake victims proposed to be built, some 1,765 are already completed, said Vince Delector, director of Habitat for Humanity Foundation.

Habitat is the implementer of the building construction to the tune of P88,000 for each house. Department of Social Welfare and Development providing the bulk of the fund in the amount of P70,000 and the rest is shouldered by the Habitat, Charlie Ayco, Habitat executive director, once said.

Delector told press conference that as of October 26, 2015, the figure (1,765) of core houses are under the first batch with 2,536 units. Some 790 of these (1,765) lack some fixtures such as lighting and plumbing; 2,355 units are structurally completed; and 1,031 are on-going; and 1,108 have not started yet for lack of materials.

Delector clarified that the project actually began in September 2014, or several months after Habitat received the fund from the Department of Social Welfare and Development early of 2014.

It will be recalled that Soliman early of last year turned over to Habitat the first tranche of a check amounting to P317,520,000 during a ceremony in Sagbayan town for core shelter construction.

The second fund release to the tune of P248,290,000 will come next.

Soliman said the government intends to build 8,083 quake victims’ houses funded by the said fund.

During the same occasion, signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the municipalities concerned represented by their respective mayors, the provincial government represented by Governor Chatto and Habitat as the implementer of the core houses, was done.

The agreement stipulates that the cost of the Core Shelter Assistance per unit will be P88,000 for totally damaged house, broken down as follows: P70,000 from the DSWD and the P18,000 from the Habitat may be in the form of cash, labor including volunteers, land for the project, facilities or equipment, administrative cost, communal facilities, such as day care centers and libraries, social services such as medicines, missions, feeding programs.

The cost per housing unit is P88,000 multiplied by total of 8,083 core shelters or P711,304,000, the MOA provides. (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BUDGET SECRETARY BUTCH ABAD AND GOVERNOR EDGAR CHATTO CHAIRPERSON JULITA MIANO OF BARANGAY TANGARAN CHARLIE AYCO CORE CORE SHELTER ASSISTANCE DELECTOR DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT HABITAT HUMANITY FOUNDATION SOLIMAN
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