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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesWednesday, June 6, 2012
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Beneficiaries’ volunteer work hours
to speed up construction of houses


The construction pace of the low-cost housing project for victims of tropical storm “Sendong” in Dumaguete City is picking up as beneficiaries of the Roman Catholic Church-backed venture pour in work hours beyond the required labor period.

Fr. Burton Villarmente, coordinator of the Diocese of Dumaguete Social Action Center, said 11 housing units are being built, and work is well underway with 10 skilled carpenters and four volunteer-beneficiaries who started last week.

The housing project in Barangay Bajumpandan, was launched last month, and the model unit was inaugurated and blessed, before then Dumaguete Bishop John Du left for his new assignment as archbishop of Palo, Leyte, on May 7.

Villarmente said one setback the SAC team has encountered was the delay in the delivery of coco lumber, although the item and other construction materials had already been paid for by the National Secretariat for Social Action.

Four beneficiaries skilled in carpentry, meanwhile, volunteered to start working on the first housing units. As part of the agreement, beneficiaries must pour in sweat equity of a minimum 100 hours per family, Villarmente said.

He thanked the city government, and Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria, for providing heavy equipment like backhoe and grader for the clearing operations at the housing site, especially as the ground was packed with unusually big boulders.

Villarmente said he hopes that after the first 20 to 25 houses are completed, the beneficiaries will be allowed to occupy them since the rainy season has started and some of the displaced families do not have decent temporary shelters.

The project, that will be built on a 5,000 square-meter lot donated by the city government is funded by the CBCP-NASSA, and covers 115 housing units. Of the total, 58 will be built at the Bajumpandan site and the rest at another location to be provided by the city.*JFP

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