Building homes, rebuilding lives
Juliana Kis-ing, a native of Tublay, Benguet with four children, earns a living by planting flowers in a greenhouse near her house. She then sells these to Dangwa Flower Market in Baguio City and Manila. With her current state, there seems to be no trace of 40-year-old Juliana being one of the people whose homes and livelihood were lost because of Typhoon Pepeng in October 2009.
When she finally received the certificate of occupancy more than a year after the typhoon, Juliana promised that she will "take care of the house given to her family." She added, "Without this house, we might still be looking for temporary shelter until now."
Alex Gadoy of Kibungan also works as a farmer to feed his four children. His family used to live near a mountain. He and his family had to evacuate because of Typhoon Pepeng as their house became covered with land. While this painful experience left an indelible mark in his life, Alex, 54, is just grateful now that he has a new home which he said helped his family "recover immediately from the typhoon."
In Atok town, Typhoon Pepeng slammed the houses of several families, including Carmen Quiaoan's two newly built houses. Life is difficult for 54-year-old Carmen as only her husband, a farmer, works to provide the basic needs of their 12 children. Through the transitional shelter given to them, however, Carmen said, "We were inspired to work hard to recover from the dreadful effects of Typhoon Pepeng. We didn't stay at the bottom."
Juliana, Alex and Carmen are only some of the 220 beneficiaries of PRC's transitional shelter project and livelihood assistance that covered 11 towns in Benguet, namely Atok, Bokod, Buguias, Itogon, Kapangan, Kibungan, La Trinidad, Mankayan, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay. PRC also distributed 316 shelter repair kits to families who were left with partially damaged houses. A total of 900 families were left homeless while 500 houses were partially damaged because of Typhoon Pepeng.
"PRC extended its hands to the families affected by Typhoon Pepeng to help them rise from the disaster that took away their houses, properties and livelihood," said PRC Chairman Richard Gordon.
"In all our transitional shelter projects, there is sweat equity involved. Beneficiaries themselves work hard to build their own houses so that they help in the sustainability of the project and do not just rely on dole outs. We just don't build houses but we also rebuild lives," he added.
Since 2005, PRC was able to provide more than 15,000 houses to families affected by major disasters in different parts of the country.