TABUK CITY, Kalinga – After being set back for a long time due to the COVID-19 situation, the Tabuk city government and the Cordillera office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-CAR) finally turned over 89 core shelter units to its beneficiaries.
Mayor Darwin Estrañero, Governor Ferdinand Tubban, and DSWD CAR Assistant Regional Director for Operations Amelyn Cabrera led the awarding of certificates of occupancy to the beneficiaries in a formal ceremony today in sitio Hilltop in Barangay Lanna, one of the four sites of the Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP) in Tabuk.
The CSAP primarily benefitted families who lost their homes when Typhoon Lando hit in 2015, but also included some informal settlers that did not have the means to put up their own houses, according to the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO).
There are 52 beneficiaries in Lanna, 21 in Calanan, 5 in Agbannawag, and 11 in Balong.
ARD Cabrera in her message said the CSAP demonstrates the essence of ‘bayanihan’, emphasizing that the housing program was made possible through the concerted effort and contributions of Tabuk City officials, different government agencies, and the beneficiaries themselves.
As related by CSWDO head Susana Daluping, the CSAP was implemented during the term of then Mayor Tubban. The 2.5-hectare lot of the housing program in Lanna was donated by then barangay captain Lester Lee Tarnate, the lot in Agbannawag was shared by Gawad Kalinga, while the lot used in Balong was a portion of the city government’s Agro Food Center.
DSWD-CAR’s counterpart was the Php 130,000 per unit for construction materials. When Mayor Estrañero took the reins, additional Php 15,000 was given to each beneficiary for plastering and finishing their houses, Daluping said. The beneficiaries organized into the Neighborhood Association for Shelter Assistance (NASA) and helped each other construct the houses.
Recognizing that the beneficiaries need more help to improve their homes, Mayor Estrañero committed another Php 1.5 million for plastering. He also assured the implementation this year of a Php 2.5 million worth water system project in sitio Hilltop to provide potable water to households. “Pagtitinnulungan tayo nu anya pay ti masapul yu dituy,” the mayor said.
In their messages, Mayor Estrañero, Governor Tubban, and ARD Cabrera encouraged the beneficiaries to get along and work together to continue improving their communities.
“Ipagpatuloy niyo ang pag-unlad ng inyong barangay. Suportado kayo ng iba’t-ibang ahensya ng gobyerno,” Cabrera said.
Meanwhile, the beneficiaries expressed their gratitude for being given their own homes. “Agyaman kami ta napagasatan kami nga naikkan ti pabahay,” NASA president Marvin Banao said.
The turnover ceremony was also attended by Sangguniang Panlungsod members, employees of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office and CSWDO, and other guests.