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Published on Mar 04, 2016
Withstanding at least 280 kph of wind during storm, the 266 MVP Homes by Tulong Kapatid, which follow a duplex-style design with two bedrooms, bathroom, and kitchen, were turned over to the Typhoon Pablo survivors last March 1, 2016. Photo by Eden Licayan.
The five-hectare resettlement site in Barangay Lambajon that was donated by the provincial government was developed with the assistance of the PLDT Smart Foundation (PSF) with support from all TK organizations, namely: TV5’s Alagang Kapatid Foundation, One Meralco Foundation, First Pacific Leadership Academy, MPIC Foundation, First Pacific, North Luzon Expressway, Makati Medical Center Foundation, Philex Group Foundation, Inc. and Maynilad.
Aside from the provincial government, Tulong Kapatid’s partners in this project included D.M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI), the National Housing Authority (NHA), and Philippine Constructors Association (PCA).
Immediately after the typhoon, the Tulong Kapatid deployed relief teams to the hardest hit areas and then raised over P100 million in donations through a telethon program in cooperation with the Alagang Kapatid Foundation and through a text donation campaign done by Smart and Sun Cellular.
At the suggestion of Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, who chaired the government task force coordinating relief and rehabilitation efforts for victims of Typhoon Pablo, TK decided to use the funds raised via the telethon for the construction of a model resettlement site.
“Working hand in hand with the provincial government of Davao Oriental, we have turned this tragedy into an opportunity to ‘build back better’ by helping set up a disaster-resilient community,” said, Pangilinan who is the Chairman and CEO of PLDT and Smart Communications.
Davao Oriental Gov. Corazon Malanyaon expressed her gratitude to the MVP Tulong Kapatid for building a project that gave hope to the whole community: “This has truly been a blessing to all of us. We cannot thank Tulong Kapatid enough and of course, Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan, for extending their help to our community.”
In the aftermath of the storm, Gov. Malanyaon launched the ‘Building Back Better Movement’ to provide strategic direction for the rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in the province.
In line with the Movement’s objectives, TK adopted innovative approaches in designing and building the resettlement project. For example, the design for the housing units exceeded the usual specifications for social housing.
Each MVP Home housing unit stands within a 60 square-meter lot with a 26.8 square-meter floor plan area. The houses are built duplex-style – rather than as bunk houses – with each unit equipped with two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen. They are designed to withstand up to 250 kph winds.
Collaborating with other Tulong Kapatid members, PSF ensured that the resettlement site is equipped with all necessary utilities. Electric power was provided by the Davao Oriental Electric Cooperative (DORECO) with the assistance of the One Meralco Foundation (OMF). Water filtration devices from Maynilad were also distributed during the first phase of house construction.
Land development was taken care of by NHA, while the provincial government handled the provision of the water and waste system and land acquisition. The construction of all 266 houses and the community clinic was funded by Tulong Kapatid.
Makati Medical Center, through its partner organization Makati Shangri-La, Manila, provided medical clinic equipment/instruments and furniture for the community health clinic.
Overseeing its technical aspect, PLDT and Smart engineers and architects dedicated their services for the design and technical monitoring of the MVP Homes housing project.
PSF President Esther Santos said all the partners worked doubly hard to realize this endeavor.
“From the companies under the MVP Tulong Kapatid to our partners – DMCI, NHA, PCA, and the provincial government of Davao Oriental – everyone really took part in turning this project into a reality,” Santos said. “We hope that this will be a stepping stone for the beneficiaries to start anew and make wonderful beginnings.”
Some of the beneficiaries participated in the house building after undergoing training through the Galing Mason program which was initiated by DMCI President and Chief Operating Officer Jorge Consunji and Allado Construction Company, Inc. President and General Manager Ramon Allado, in partnership with cement company Holcim.
Under this program, 35 men were trained in various skills including excavating, layouting and finishing that enabled them to help build homes in the resettlement area. Some of the trained workers are now being hired for other housing projects in Typhoon Yolanda areas.
Arnie Chavez, one of the program graduates, said he learned a lot of practical skills needed in construction work. “I am very happy that we’ve been given this kind of opportunity. Not only did we become certified in masonry but we are also paid for our work here,” he said.
“It felt like we just broke free from our struggles with Typhoon Pablo. Today, we can easily get jobs since we already have the necessary skills,” he said.