263 new houses for Yolanda survivors

263 new houses for Yolanda survivors

The Pope Francis Village will be the home of 566 survivor-families of Typhoon Yolanda in Leyte province. CARITAS PHILIPPINES

By CBCP News

February 13, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Some 263 houses were turned over to families in Tacloban City that were displaced by super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

The families were among the first batch of recipients of permanent housing units at the Pope Francis Village.

The project was constructed under a consortium of Development and Peace – Caritas Canada, Caritas Philippines, Archdiocese of Palo, Redemptorist Congregation, and the Urban Poor Associates.

Canadian delegation led by Bishop Noel Simard along with church and government officials graced the turnover ceremony on Feb. 10.

Simard said the event was “a manifestation of us in Canada responding to the great need and suffering you have experienced in 2013”.

“D&P cannot help but respond in the best way we can, despite the many difficulties we have to face in building the Pope Francis Village,” he said.

“And now seeing the happy faces of the families, of the children in their new homes, we can only say that D&P did the right thing pushing for this project,” Simard said.

Fr. Edwin Gariguez of Caritas Philippines reiterated the Church’s commitment to help the Yolanda victims.

“The way we were able to organize the survivors and mobilize all resources available were a reflection of our commitment to better the lives of the most vulnerable,” he said.

The P187.8 million project will have about 566 housing units, six multipurpose classroom, a chapel, village market, and waste water treatment and materials recovery facilities.

Jess Agustin, country manager of D&P, said that Pope Francis Village is “truly an integrated, community-driven model community that is reflective of the people’s aspirations”.

“Our work in providing alternatives like Pope Francis Village’s model community has been an expression of solidarity and hope, despite despair, hatred and division,” he said.

The construction of Pope Francis Village is expected to be completed in June 2019.

Caritas Philippines has earlier reported that it has built more than 30,000 homes, benefiting thousands of Yolanda survivors.

Aside from housing projects, the Church also focused on livelihood programs, community organizing, community-managed disaster risk reduction, ecosystems recovery, and institutional capacity building, among others.

“This is our Church not giving up on her people,” Gariguez said.

Church builds more than 30,000 houses for Yolanda victims

This Caritas village is now home to more than 50 families in Basey, Samar.

By Roy Lagarde

November 16, 2018

Manila, Philippines

Official figures show that the Catholic Church built more than 30,000 homes in different provinces devastated by the Philippines’ deadliest typhoon on record.

The figures were announced Friday during Caritas Philippines’ commemoration of the 5th anniversary of typhoon Yolanda in Palo, Leyte.

Started in 2014, the church’s 3-year rehabilitation program focused on shelter, livelihood, water, sanitation and health, community organizing, community-managed risk reduction, ecosystems recovery and institutional capacity building.

Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Caritas Philippines’ Executive Secretary, said that Caritas Internationalis was instrumental in ensuring not only funds but also experts in the fields of recovery and rehabilitation.

“That is why we were able to accomplish so many things,” Gariguez said.

“In 2013, we at Caritas Philippines didn’t even thought that we’ll be capable of implementing what would be the Church’s most massive, largest-funded and most comprehensive humanitarian response,” he quipped.

The number of houses built does not include yet the shelter projects of various religious congregations and other church-based groups.

The priest said each of the Caritas organization doing bilateral programs in the dioceses ensured collaboration, thus maximizing all available resources, reaching more than 1.4 million Filipinos.

He was referring to Caritas Internationalis member organizations namely, Catholic Relief Service, Caritas Switzerland, Caritas Italiana, Caritas Belgium, Caritas Germany, Development and Peace (D&P), Caritas Austria, and Cordaid.

He added that being able to able to build thousands of houses speak of the dedication and commitment of the Church “to better the lives and restore the dignity” of typhoon victims.

“We are very proud of this accomplishment, yet humbled by the experience,” Gariguez stressed.

The houses were constructed in the provinces of Leyte, Samar, Easter Samar, Palawan, Cebu, Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Antique and other areas devastated by super typhoon Yolanda.

The Church’s over-all Caritas response amounted to more than P3.2 billion.