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PIA Press Release

Feature: House-building program builds character

by JMD Abangan

By Jean Duron-Abangan

Davao City (27 October) -- Aside from providing houses, the 3rd Bayani Challenge is also building a sense of camaraderie and better relationship among people, Compostela Valley Provincial Governor Arturo T. Uy said.

Uy cited the Bayani challenge as an opportunity to offer services in cash or in sweat to families to have least in life and those who have lost their homes and loved ones due to calamities.

Uy together with Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) XI Regional Director Ester Acebedo-Versoza, Mayor Voltaire Rimando of Maco and local government officials of Compostela Valley led the opening of the 3rd Bayani Challenge in Barangay Kinuban, Maco, Compostela Valley.

More than one thousand volunteers and supportive individuals from local line and national agencies, civic and non-government organizations, church and private groups, and the media joined the "Pasaload" ceremonial opening of the 3rd Bayani Challenge.

Opening ceremony participants passed on from one to the other 12 pieces of hollow block one at a time, marking the start of a week-long building of 116 houses of families left homeless due to landslide which hit Barangay Masara, Maco in September 2008.

Such activity is dubbed as "Bayani Challenge", giving due credit to individuals and support organizations who are giving a hand in building houses for target beneficiaries.

Through donation pledges generated by the Gaward Kalinga (GK), Uy early this year hosted the 1st and the 2nd Bayani Challenge during which a total of 88 housing units were built for the Masara landslide victims.

Called Gawad Kalinga Designer Village, the village is located just a walking-distance away from the area where the DSWD-CSAP funded houses are built.

The 3rd phase of Bayani Challenge which will last until October 30 (a week after the October 23 kick off) gets P7.5 million funding from DSWD through its Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP). The new community of duplex and quadruplex units will be called USWAG-CSAP-Gawad Kalinga Village Phase 2.

In a statement, DSWD XI said the DSWD-CSAP is extended to individuals or families left homeless by disasters. The project is a community development initiative utilizing the principles of community organizing, convergence of services and capability building.

To date, the national government through DSWD has facilitated construction of some 1401 housing units throughout Davao Region with a funding exposure of P31,440,723.

DSWD XI Regional Director Ester Acebedo-Versoza revealed that the construction of a few units of DSWD-funded houses started last June, and that the entire village will be completed after the 3rd Bayani Challenge shall have been through Friday this week.

Meanwhile, Uy explained that the Bayani Challenge is meant not only for those calamity victims but also for the extremely poor so they would have the chance to live in a decent house.

The provincial government of Compostela Valley is linking up with Gawad Kalinga through its Gawad Kalinga Isang Milyong Bayani program to build better houses as homes of underprivileged families.

Uy has issued an order for municipal governments of Compostela Valley to designate an area as GK village in their respective towns.

Gawad Kalinga Isang Milyong Bayani is a patriotic movement of building a true Filipino Character through building best homes for the homeless. Its premise is not just to build houses but to immerse in a community and foster friendship and camaraderie among volunteers, and strengthen one's faith. While volunteers build, they will dance and sing, listen to series of empowerment talks and play group games. A Bayani Team is composed of 15 members [four masons, two carpenters, nine support workers].

Some 150 Bayani Teams are participating the 3rd Bayani Challenge. For its part, DSWD has committed to field one team. (PIA XI/DSWd XI) [top]

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