Aurora Disaster Victims Get New Homes

Some three months after powerful typhoons wrecked their homes and their lives, the uprooted residents of Barangay Paltic in Dingalan, Aurora have gotten back to their feet and returned to a semblance of normalcy.

To hasten the victims' return to normal life, a housing project is underway at a relocation site located at Barangay Caragsacan, supervised by Gawad Kalinga. The project aims to finish 100 houses by the end of March and once another secure and hazard-free relocation site is found, additional houses will be built.

Sen. Edgardo Angara, who hails from Baler, Aurora, visited the 1.8 hectare village of the dispossessed residents of Barangay Paltic last week to grace the ceremonial painting of the row-type houses. He said that more houses will be built for other homeless families, especially those from the southern village of Barangay Umiray. Paltic and Umiray were the hardest hit barangays by the onslaught of storms last year.

He was accompanied in his visit by National Disaster Coordinating Council Chairman Avelino Cruz, former Department of Agriculture secretary Cito Lorenzo, Gawad Kalinga Director Tony Meloto and Bishop Efraim Tendero.

The senator has asked Dingalan Mayor Jimmy Ylarde to scout for more relocation sites where new communities for the other homeless families can be built.

He also lauded President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for the immediate action done to alleviate the suffering of the typhoon victims of Aurora. Angara told the housing project beneficiary that President Arroyo's and the government's sincerity in helping the dislocated people of Aurora has encouraged the private sector to lend a hand.

Earlier, the senator through his sister Aurora Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, released P3.5 million in assistance from his livelihood support program for the disaster victims of his home province. He also distributed 100 bags of rice and vegetable seeds aside from 15 carabaos and 25 goats handed over to farmers.

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