Hundreds of NegOr typhoon victims receive transitional aid

ACCOMMODATION KITS. Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes (left) presents protective gear to Manjuyod parish priest Fr. Hitchon Amahit (third from left) January 15, 2022. The Diocese of Dumaguete, in partnership with donors, continues to provide relief and rehabilitation assistance to victims of Typhoon Odette in Negros Oriental. (Photo from the Diocese of Dumaguete-Typhoon Odette Response Facebook page)

DUMAGUETE CITY – The Diocese of Dumaguete and its partners will provide temporary shelter to hundreds of families whose homes were destroyed by Typhoon Odette during its attack on Negros Oriental on December 16, 2021.

The project will provide families with simple but decent homes to move into immediately upon completion, Fr. Hendrix Alar, emergency program director at the diocese’s Typhoon Odette Operations Center, told the Philippine News Agency on Monday.

“These are housing units to be built in collaboration with the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and Caritas Philippines and perhaps other partners, while further arrangements or improvements are made for a more appropriate structure after can be made to their needs later,” Alar said.

Some of these families just rent or live on someone else’s property and it would take time to complete the paperwork, so a transitional home is best for now, he said.

As of January 24, the diocese has identified 315 beneficiaries in the city of Jimalalud through Parish Pastoral Councils (PPCs); 104 in the city of Tayasan; and 208 in two separate parishes in the city of Mabinay, for a total of 627.

Alar said the diocese is considering working with a company involved in the bamboo business, with a meeting between the bishop and company officials, to build the temporary shelters.

Meanwhile, typhoon victims with partially damaged homes have also received shelter kits made of galvanized iron (GI) sheets and nails, while another group has donated plywood, Alar said.

These emergency shelter kits, worth PHP 5,000 each, were distributed to 150 households in Manjuyod and 100 more in Bais City.

Another 80 pieces of GI-sheets were distributed to more than 219 families through the parish of St. Francis of Assisi in Manjuyod last week, donated by parishioners of Dauin led by Monsignor Julius Heruela.

Alar thanked NASSA/Caritas-Manila, Holy Child Hospital, Immaculate Conception Academy alumnae, faculty, staff and students from San Juan City, and other organizations and individuals who shared their blessings with the victims of Typhoon Odette over the Diocese of Dumaguete have shared.

The diocese first started its relief efforts by distributing food packages and supplies to the victims since last month, but is now focusing on the rehabilitation phase with ongoing meetings and consultations with the various PPCs.

“Community assessment is very important to identify the right housing benefit beneficiary and we hope to be in touch with more partners in the coming days,” Alar said. (PNA)

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