Davao Oro to Provide New Homes for Landslide Victims in July

Davao Oro – Eighty families displaced by a devastating landslide in Barangay Masara earlier this year are set to receive new homes next month. Vice Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy announced on Monday that the housing units would be constructed on a 1.6-hectare site in Barangay Panibasan.

According to Philippines News Agency, the landslide on February 6 claimed 98 lives and left eight people missing, directly affecting 127 families in Zone 1 of Barangay Masara. The housing project, named ‘Balayanihan’, a blend of ‘Balay’ (house) and ‘bayanihan’ (cooperation), is a joint initiative involving national government agencies, the private sector, and House Speaker Martin Romualdez, who has contributed PHP3.5 million to the effort.

The first phase of ‘Balayanihan’ will see the construction of modular homes, with volunteers contributing to the rapid building process, allowing for the planned completion and handover in July. Uy mentioned that an initial PHP10 million is allocated for the project, covering land development and construction costs. Additional modifications to enhance the comfort of the housing units have been proposed, leading to increased costs but improved living conditions for the recipients.

Merlita Serra, a landslide survivor currently residing in a temporary shelter, expressed her relief and anticipation at moving into a permanent home. She vividly remembers the tragic day of the landslide, marked by the loss of her grandson and the desperate cries for help from her community.

The second phase of the housing project will address the needs of the remaining 47 affected families.