BONTOC, Mountain Province –The Department of Social Welfare and Development – Cordillera Administrative Region (DSWD-CAR) through the Disaster Response and Management Division (DRMD) in partnership with the Bontoc Local Government Unit (LGU) through the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) turned over 59 core shelters in Barangay Can-eo on May 31, 2022, and 29 in Barangay Dalican, Bontoc, Mountain Province on June 1, 2022.
The Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP) of the DSWD aims to provide disaster-affected families with environment-friendly and structurally strong housing units. The fund for the CSAP is provided by the DSWD.
Per assessment of the Mining and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) back in 2013 in Barangay Can-eo, tension cracks found in the mountain above the houses located in Sitio Fabfey impose threats to some 79 families.
According to Social Welfare Officer III Stephanie Kanongkong, the construction of the core shelters in the relocation site in Sitios Chagchag, Lumi, and Suyo began in 2014 after the turnover of cheques amounting to P5,530,000.00 to the Can-eo Neighborhood Association for Shelter Assistance (NASA).
Meanwhile, in Barangay Dalican, a total of 180 families previously residing in Sitios Chata and Mabago were relocated to Sitios Kadattay and Ngabngab in 2017 due to the threat of erosion and land subsidence.
A total of P15,920,190.00 was given to the Dalican NASA for the first 130 beneficiaries while P6,500,000.00 was given to the second batch with 50 beneficiaries.
Division Chief Marifil Jugal of the DSWD-CAR DRMD who represented Regional Director Arnel Garcia remarked that the success of the CSAP is the result of the coordination and cooperation of the national government, the Local Government Units, the Barangay, and the beneficiaries.
“These houses are now officially yours, thus, consider it not only as a house or a structure but a home that is safer and more disaster-resilient,” she said.
In his message in Barangay Can-eo, Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey extended his utmost gratitude to the DSWD-CAR for funding the program thus helping over a hundred families in the municipality.
Odsey encouraged the other beneficiaries who are yet to finish the construction of their houses to try and complete it before the September 2022 deadline.
Also, the mayor committed an additional fund of ₱300,000.00 from the Bontoc LGU to be downloaded to the Can-eo NASA bank account for the completion and painting of the core shelters.
“This is a historical event since our dreams of relocating the families to a safer place back in 2014 finally came to reality. This manifests that through the collective effort and cooperation of the government and the community, any project can be completed with great success,” he said.
For the core shelter project in Can-eo, the Bontoc LGU provided toilet bowls for the construction of the comfort rooms, donated eco-bricks purchased from the Senior Citizens of Bontoc who came–up with a Sustainable Livelihood Project in 2015. It has also mobilized officials and employees as additional manpower during the delivery of construction supplies and aggregates and the construction of the core shelters. Schools, various organizations, and volunteers were also tapped to provide additional manpower.
Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Eusebio Kabluyen who represented the mayor in Barangay Dalican reminded the beneficiaries to continue practicing the spirit of “Og-ogfo” as they continue to finish the construction of the remaining houses.
The Office of the Municipal Engineer also provided the structural plan and conducted monitoring of the core shelters.
Further, the beneficiaries expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the DSWD and the Bontoc LGU for the provision of funds and materials for the construction of their new homes.