A March 6, 2013, press release from the Department of Social Welfare and Development
These bunkhouses will serve as temporary homes for the families displaced by typhoon Pablo.
Rogelio and Violeta Saging felt renewed hope upon learning that they were among the families who were given temporary homes. Their son, Rudyard died at the height of the onslaught of typhoon Pablo in their town in Compostela Valley in December 2012.
Recalling that fateful day, the couple could only look forward to starting a new life with their three remaining children in New Bataan. When interviewed, their eyes turned misty upon the mention of their lost son, but the hope and the eagerness to start anew is evident.
“We need to survive for our children’s sake. Our pain and struggle were made bearable because of the help and support we get from the government, international, and private donors,” Violeta said in the local dialect.
Violeta was referring to the temporary shelter given to her family by the government.
As of February 15, 2013, 19 bunkhouses in New Bataan and Compostela Valley were inaugurated and turned over to the families displaced by typhoon Pablo. The turnover ceremony was led by Secretary Dinky Soliman joined by Governor Arturo Uy, Congresswoman Maricar Zamora, Mayor Lorenzo Balbin and Acting Mayor Rey Castillo and by various humanitarian partners, national agencies, and other local officials.
The bunkhouses, each with eight units, were constructed in coordination with the provincial government of Compostela Valley.
The DSWD will be constructing 89 bunkhouses in Compostela Valley (29) and Davao Oriental (60).
Secretary Soliman called on the beneficiaries to slowly hope for the better, pointing out that these are, “temporary because their permanent houses will hopefully be better than what they had [before the typhoon].”
“Kini siya temporaryo lamang. Apan, kining pagkatemporaryo dili nata mabasa kay diha sa tent pag mokusog-kusog gani ang ulan mabasa man ta (This bunkhouse is for temporary shelter only. However, this temporary shelter means that we will not get wet anymore as compared to living in tents, when it rains hard we get soaked),” the Secretary explained in the Visayan language.
The bunkhouses were built using corrugated galvanized iron sheets as roofing and marine plywood as walls with a bathroom each for men and women and a one-meter by 24-meters walkway.
Carmelita Mamalyas of Purok, 4-B Poblacion expressed her gratitude to the government for including her in the list of the beneficiaries.
“Ang pagpili sa mga mamuyo diri, ginasurvey nila ang mga na washout nga mga balay dayon wala nay kabalayan pud nga lote. Ang among lote naapil man og kaanod, sapa na siya karon. Dili na pwede kabalayan (The government did a survey and prioritized all houses that were washed out and those that have no more lots to build on. Our lot was among those washed out; it is now a river. We cannot build there anymore),” Mamalyas narrated.
“Pasalamat gani mi nga naapil mi diri sa bunkhouse. Mas okay diri. Didto [sa among barong-barong] kay sagupa pud kaayo mi sa abog kay daplin sa kalsada (We are very grateful that we are among those who were chosen to live in the bunkhouse. It is better here. Back in our makeshift shelter, we were always exposed to dust because it’s beside the road),” she added.
Comvalenos manifesto of support for DSWD
In a related development, barangay officials, leaders and KALAHI-CIDSS volunteers in New Bataan, Compostela Valley recently issued a manifesto conveying their strong support for DSWD. “No one can poison our minds to withdraw our support for DSWD because we firmly believe DSWD is one of those that truly assisted us and served as our partner in achieving our dream of a much developed community,” they said.
The leaders and volunteers added they recognize the DSWD’s sincerity in public service explaining “they are fair in the distribution of relief goods.”
With the heading, “Genuine Public Service Must Be Recognized By Us Comvalenos,” the manifesto said, “We can never praise and thank them enough for the genuine public service they have provided us after the tragedy struck us.”
“Genuine public service is what the people of DSWD have been providing us. In our experience in implementing sub-projects in our community, we [volunteers] were taught about the basic principles of KALAHI-CIDSS to ensure participation from the people, transparency in procedures for everyone to be informed, and accountability for any undertaking.”
Further, they called on groups, which are trying to discredit the government and the DSWD to instead coordinate with the organizations and agencies that are helping victims recover from the devastation brought by typhoon Pablo.
The signatories of the manifesto are village chairmen, treasurers, purok leaders, secretaries, and volunteers of barangays Gabi, Maparat, San Miguel, Tamia, and Mapaca.