By Mary Judaline F. Partlow
DUMAGUETE CITY, Feb. 27 — More families are set to benefit from a joint venture by the Dumaguete City Government and the Roman Catholic Church, through the Diocese of Dumaguete, to provide free housing to victims of flooding spurred by Tropical Storm Sendong on December 17, 2011.
Fr. Burton Villarmente, director of the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Dumaguete, disclosed that Phase II of the Caritas Village Temporary Shelter project in the outskirts village of Bajumpandan is moving ahead with minor hitches.
Phase II comprises 92 houses being built on a one-hectare lot donated by the Dumaguete City Government after Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria followed through with his promise to provide the site after the completion of Phase I sometime in December, 2012.
According to Fr. Villarmente, 54 units have already been built at the Phase II site, with the remaining units to be completed hopefully by March prior to the formal turn over to pre-identified beneficiaries in April.
Phase I and Phase II comprise a total of 150 housing units funded by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (CBCP-NASSA), in cooperation with Caritas and the Diocese of Dumaguete and its Social Action Center, with the city government of Dumaguete donating the project sites.
Phase I with 58 housing units on a 5,000 square meter lot in Bajumpandan was completed last December with beneficiary families now staying in their respective homes.
But what are lacking are the individual power and water connections to each housing unit, said Fr. Villarmente, who promised to make a follow-up with the local water district and the NORECO II.
Phase II beneficiary families, meanwhile, are required to undergo and complete 14 sessions of values formation talks, same with Phase I beneficiaries, prior to receiving their individual shelters, the SAC director said.
Fr. Villarmente also disclosed the possibility of adding more housing units at Phase II if the CBCP-NASSA will approve his request for funding.
The Caritas Village Temporary Shelter is a project being lauded by many as it is the first and only partnership so far between the city government and the Church to build homes for flood victims in Dumaguete. (PNA)