Silay gets 546 Habitat houses

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Habitat for Humanity Philippines Foundation Inc. is building 546 earthquake and storm-proof homes for informal settlers in Brgy. E Lopez, Silay City, Negros Occidental, that are being targeted to be completed in 36 months.

Habitat for Humanity Asia-Pacific Area Vice-President, Rick Hathaway, said yesterday that they will use an engineered bamboo-design, which is earthquake resilient, and could survive anything that can happen in the community.

Hathaway, who led the groundbreaking yesterday of the multi-million disaster resilient housing project at the Bonbon Phase 3 resettlement site in Brgy. E. Lopez, Silay City, said the construction of the 546 homes, will be done in phases, with 86 housing units to be initially constructed.

The groundbreaking was also attended by local government officials led by Silay Mayor Mark Golez. Dominique “Nikki” Lopez-Benitez represented her husband, Rep. Alfredo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District), who chairs the House committee on Housing and Urban Development.

Hathaway said they will only require “sweat equity” from the identified beneficiaries, who will render 400 hours of service to build their houses and that of their neighbors.

The initial housing units to be constructed in duplexes are valued at more than P40 million.

Habitat also constructed houses for victims of Bohol earthquake and Yolanda, before proceeding to other areas,including Negros Occidental.

Golez and Benitez thanked thanking Habitat for choosing Silay City as a beneficiary of its housing projects.

There are about 10,000 informal settlers in Silay City.

With informal settlers soon having decent, safe and secured homes, their children will develop in a more conducive environment rather than in their houses located in danger zones, or flood-prone areas, Benitez said.

Golez said that providing safe and adequate shelters to informal settlers that is among his visions for Silay, is slowly becoming a reality. He also vowed that nobody will be left out in the giving of shelter to informal settlers.

Ma. Victoria Abello, HFHP project manager for Western Visayas, said the bamboo-cement technology will be used to construct sturdy, earthquake and storm-proof houses , targeted to be completed within 10 months from the start of the Jan. 22 training of the workers on the technology, and actual construction.

The Silay City was chosen as the project site because it already had a 46-hectare developed resettlement site, with seven hectares allocated for the construction of 546 homes by the Habitat for Humanity Philippines.

Rep. Benitez has sponsored a bill creating the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, that seeks to address housing problems and related concerns in the country.

"We cannot achieve our dream of inclusive development if we cannot address problems as basic as housing,” he said in his sponsored bill.

“This department will serve as a robust backbone structure towards building a stronger nation," he added.*GPB