By Keith Bacongco
DAVAO CITY – How far can P33,000 in terms of building temporary but comfortable shelter for all those who lost their homes in the series of earthquakes that hit parts of Mindanao recently?
In Cotabato Province, where a city and two towns were hardest-hit by the earthquakes, a multi-sectoral effort called “Adopt-a-Family” is underway to build temporary shelters for the displaced villagers.
Vice Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza told The Manila Bulletin that provincial government engineers have drafted a program that would allow for the construction of a temporary shelter, measuring 20 square meters, for only P33,000.
But Mendoza was quick to add that the initiative would also be relying on donations from private groups and individuals, and not just the local government.
“It will be a bayanihan system or food-for-work concept, the houses will be built by volunteers and the recipients themselves could also help,” she said.
Based on the program of work, the houses will be made of light materials such as plywood, kalakat (woven bamboo), coco lumber, concrete flooring and galvanized iron sheets for roofing. However, the unit will not include a toilet and kitchen.
“The walls can be plywood but it’s cheaper if they will use kalakat and the cost may go down to about P28,000 only,” Mendoza said.
Initial sponsors have already pooled in their resources to build at least 100 temporary houses in Tulunan, which was the epicenter of the strong quakes that hit the province.
“The location of the shelters will be on case to case basis. They can build it right beside their destroyed homes or within their own land. But if the area had been declared as no build zone, they will be clustered in one place,” Mendoza explained.
For those who want to adopt a family, they may purchase construction materials and have it recorded in the command center of Tulunan, she added.
“They can also request the local government or me to pick up the materials. But preferably near Tulunan only.”
While in Makilala, the vice governor added, the local government has yet to find a safe relocation site given that many areas in Makilala have been declared as “no build zones.”