Japanese gov't funds P170-M housing project in CDO
CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – The city government has received from the Japanese government ¥350 million (P170 million) as assistance to construct at least 1,200 low-cost housing units in the city for the victims of Typhoon Sendong (international name: Washi) which struck the city on December 16 and Dec 17, 2011.
Sendong, which flooded with torrential rain the Cagayan de Oro River, destroyed communities along the river banks. The River overflowed into the much higher elevated residential areas killing 1,500 and leaving behind almost the same number of missing persons.
Minister Akio Isomata, Japanese embassy Minister for Economic Affairs, on Thursday, March 13, personally visited Cagayan de Ori City Mayor Oscar Moreno to deliver his government's support.
Isomata said that the financial support would also make use of their country’s technology in building back better communities after natural disasters.
Isomata added that Japan and the Philippines both shared a long history of natural disasters and that their technology in building more resilient communities and infrastructure would greatly help in building the new community.
Moreno said that the city government is grateful to the Japanese people who have not forgotten the victims of Typhoon Sendong.
The city government has identified a 15-hectare, elevated property, which it owns in Barangay Balubal, some 12 km east of the city.
The land, classified as residential, sits on a plateau with an wide view of Macajalar Bay, the city’s coastline. It is also where the posh village of Teakwood Hills is located.
Ramon Fernandez, chief of the city’s Task Force Housing and Shelter, said that the master plan for the new village is undergoing review.
“We want it to be a self contained community, where everything is within reach, you don’t have to go elsewhere to get your supplies,” Fernandez said.
Moreno shared the government will build houses bigger compared to the first batches constructed for Sendong victims.
Isomata also emphasized building better structures and having a safe environment for the beneficiaries will make the project sustainable.
Fernandez said that the new village will contain a public market, transport hub, community center and open spaces.
Barangay Balubal also has one of the lowest student populations in the city. Its public high school and elementary school have vast fields where students learn to appreciate farming, as urban public schools lose green spaces to new buildings to accommodate more students.
Jan Hannah Awitin, marketing and volunteer coordinator of Habit for Humanity Region 10, said that they are being tapped to construct the houses for the new village.
Awitin said that since their new house design provides for lofts, there will be bigger spaces.
Because of the "Build Back Better" approach required by the Japanese government, the houses will be constructed individually, unlike the previous houses which were quadruplexes and were more tight.
Moreno said the construction of the new village will commence immediately and they expect to transfer ownership to the beneficiaries by 2015. – Rappler.com