Construction of transitional houses by the IOM continues

City Social Welfare and Development Officer Dr. Manuel Icon P. Donaire, Mr. Bezaleel A. Sombilon, and Mr. Jesse dela Cruz of the City Social Welfare and Development Office(CSWDO) of Baybay City and Engr. Christine F. Armenta, Field Assistant Engineer of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) conducted site visitation in Barangay Maganhan and Barangay Kambonggan on January 17, 2023.

This is to check the status of the construction of the IOM’s transitional shelters in the different barangays of the City of Baybay.

In an interview with CSWD Officer Donaire, it is revealed that 156 households from Barangay Kantagnos were rendered homeless by TS Agaton. The first 40 houses funded by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), which were completed by the joint efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Fire Protection, and the Philippine National Police in Barangay Maganhan, have been turned over to the first 40 households on July 15, 2022.

He added that the construction of the second batch of 32 houses, also funded by the OCD, is still on-going also in Barangay Maganhan. While the IOM has already completed 56 transitional shelters (Maganhan = 56, Bubon = 2, Gaas = 1, Sitio Sto. Niño, Zone 1 = 2, & Kan-ipa = 5) for the survivors of Barangay Kantagnos, eight (8) are still on-going and 3 have not yet started, also in Barangay Maganhan. “The remaining 17 households either did not pass the validation of the IOM because they either lived outside of the Evacuation Center or has the capacity to construct their own house,” explained Donaire.

The residents of Barangay Mailhi (268 households) were also displaced by TS Agaton after the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Region 8 declared the barangay as unsafe for habitation.  Thus, the Local Government Unit of Baybay constructed 40 permanent housing for the survivors in Barangay Higulo-an, while the IOM is currently constructing 155 transitional houses in Barangay Kambonggan for the residents of Barangay Mailhi.  The rest of the households (74) either lived outside of the Evacuation Center or has the capacity to construct their own house thus were not included in the beneficiaries of the transitional shelters being constructed by the IOM.

It could be recalled that the IOM also constructed 14 transitional shelters in Barangay Bunga and 29 in Barangay Maypatag and these shelters have already been turned over to the identified and qualified beneficiaries. Sixty-four transitional shelters in Barangay Villa Mag-aso have also been occupied by the TS Agaton survivors, while 30 units are still being constructed in the said barangay.

CSWD Officer Donaire lauded the IOM for their commitment to do the task on time, to the extent of not celebrating the Yuletide Season. The LGU of Baybay continuously renders support and assistance to these endeavors of OCD and IOM by providing whatever is needed, especially the purchase of lots where the shelters are constructed. “Baybayanons are truly indebted to the IOM for their unwavering support to the victims of Typhoon Agaton.” (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)