With tremendous support from Japan, UN-Habitat and partners roll out the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements project with the first completed corehouse in Roxas City, Philippines.
UN-Habitat Philippines, together with the Government of Japan, the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), and the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), launched the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlement project on the sweltering morning of 7 August 2014, at the Don Conrado Barrios Memorial School Covered Court, Villa Carmel Village, Barangay Baybay, Roxas City in Capiz.
The project, with financial support worth $2.5 million from the Government of Japan, is designed to accomplish the following by end of this year to early next year:
- Training of approximately 250 local semi-skilled artisans in disaster risk resilient housing construction
- Construction of 610 corehouses by these local trained artisans for families throughout communities in the Visayan provinces of Capiz and Iloilo who were left homeless or whose houses were hazardous to live in after Typhoon Haiyan
- Training of 4,000 families in the beneficiary communities on house assessment under the principles of disaster risk reduction
- Support for a national campaign with SHFC and other government agencies on disaster-resilient housing techniques
- Information, education, communication materials for national advocacy on people’s process for recovery and rehabilitation
- Community action planning workshops
- Infrastructure support for 20 communities.
The launch, which showcased the first of the 610 houses to be built, started off with a covenant signing between:
1) project-managing agencies (Bernhard Barth, UN-Habitat Human Settlements Officer for Asia and the Pacific; Christopher Rollo, UN-Habitat Country Programme Manager; Undersecretary Cecilia Alba of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, or HUDCC; Ana Oliveros, President of the Social Housing Finance Corporation, or SHFC; Alfonso Bediones, Jr., Capiz Provincial Coordinator of Couples for Christ – ANCOP, Ar. Eric Demingoy, President of the United Architects of the Philippines – Capiz Chapter; Ms. Cecil Benavidez, General Manager of Hilti Foundation, Inc. – Philippines; and Maureen Abelardo, President of BDO Foundation) and 2) partner LGUs led by Governor Victor Tanco, with Koji Otani, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan and representative of Ambassador Toshinao Urabe and Roxie Abagatnan, Capiz Provincial Rehabilitation and Recovery Coordinator of the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) as witnesses.
This was followed by the signing of 11 community contracts between: 1) SHFC (the agency that enabled affordable land acquisition for beneficiary families) and UN-Habitat (the project’s key implementing agency), and 2) Homeowners Association (HOA) representatives, community leaders who represented the beneficiaries. The contracts are for the first 126 houses which will be built by the HOAs with technical support from UN-Habitat.
The real star of the show, however, was Emelia Doriendes, mother of five and owner of the inaugural house. Hundreds of locals and residents who flocked to the covered court cheered and hooted when video footage showed Emelia relaying her own account from the moment Haiyan slammed into her neighborhood to the explosive elation she felt when she saw her name on the list of beneficiaries for whom houses would be built.
The morning event culminated with guests being ushered to the project site for ribbon-cutting of the pilot house.