BDO Foundation turns over houses to Yolanda victims

BDO Foundation joined the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), and local government officials in turning over 40 resettlement homes in Tacloban City to families displaced by Typhoon Yolanda. 

Located in Barangay Cabalawan, the single-detached permanent shelters are part of a total of 100 houses that will be built by the partners for disaster-stricken residents. Funded by BDO Foundation, the project is managed by UN Habitat with the DSWD providing site development support. SHFC, through its community mortgage program, assists the homeowners association by providing affordable financing to secure the lots occupied. 

The United Architects of the Philippines helped in designing the housing units, making sure that they are resilient, appropriate for the terrain in Cabalawan, Tacloban, and can be expanded incrementally by the recipient families. 

The typhoon-resilient structures were turned over to the members of the Villa de Tacloban Homeowners Association in ceremonies witnessed by BDO Foundation president Mario Deriquito, BDO Foundation program director Rose Espinosa, UN Habitat country programme manager Christopher Rollo, SHFC president Atty. Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling and HUDCC deputy secretary general Leira Buan. 

The construction of resettlement homes forms part of BDO Foundation's contribution to UN Habitat's Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements program. The foundation supports UN Habitat's mission to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all. 

The initiative is also part of the disaster response advocacy and long-term rehabilitation program of BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank, in provinces severely affected by Typhoon Yolanda. The foundation has supported UN Habitat's projects in Capiz, Iloilo and Leyte through its financial inclusion initiatives. It has also rehabilitated rural health units and constructed school buildings, multi-purpose halls and resettlement homes in Yolanda-hit provinces including Tacloban. 

Tacloban was one of the hardest hit by the super typhoon with an estimated 8,000 casualties. A devastating storm surge leveled the province, destroying around 30,000 homes, according to the City Social Welfare Development Office.