Carrying a child in one arm, a mother looks outside her house. She smiles as she sees a group of people approaches and says, “Magandang umaga po. Tuloy po kayo.” She lets the people take a peek of her newly-built house.
Ronalyn Ebron, 34 years old is one of the beneficiaries of the Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP) funded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) together with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of the municipality of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.
Ronalyn invited the DSWD staff inside her roughly decorated house. She moved to her home last January 2015. She, together with her five children and husband, used to live in Zone 4, a sitio of Barangay Ilvita, one of the areas often affected by the typhoons and flooded since they are near the river. In 2009, the said sitio received the brunt of Typhoon Jolina that damaged and destroyed properties and houses.
The households living in Zone 4 are considered “at risk” for a long time and therefore pushed the local government to formulate plans for the transfer of the residents to a safer place. After systematic planning in 2013, the local government resorted to the CSAP initiated by the DSWD.
With the groundbreaking ceremony attended by Sec. Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman last 2014, the LGU of Sablayan started its “Pangarap na Pamayanan” project with 397 houses for the residents of “at risk” families in barangays Ilvita and Lagnas, another area also affected by typhoons and flood.
Of the total number of houses provided, 112 in Brgy. Ilvita and eight in Brgy. Lagnas are awarded to Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries like Ronalyn. As a stay-at-home mother with a delivery-man husband, Ronalyn’s family strives to do better in life. “Nagpapasalamt po kami kasi nabigyan po kami ng bahay at safe po kami dito,” utters Ronalyn. They are grateful that a sturdy house and spacious lot is provided to them and they can call it their own. CSAP is one of the contributing factors in the Department’s goal of uplifting the well-being of the partner-beneficiaries.
Lina Agmat Basit, 52 years old, is also a Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiary. With tears, she says, “Nagpapasalamat po ako sa ating pamahalaan kasi nabiyayaan kami ng sarili naming bahay na hindi namin naisip na magkakaroon kami.” She recalled that she was excited when she heard they will receive a house from CSAP that she immediately moved to it when it was ready for occupancy.
Lina also stays at home while her husband is a seasonal farmer and construction worker. For others, they don’t have much but for them, what they have is more than enough to be grateful for – their own and happy home.
With convergence from the various programs of the Department as well as the willingness of the local government to provide its best care to its constituents, change in the lives of the poor people is never too far. ###
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