Monthly Archives

November 2014

Finally, the long, slow work of recovery can begin … a year after Yolanda

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TACLOBAN/MANILA, Philippines — Lorna Per, 19, was pregnant when super typhoon Yolanda’s powerful storm surge swept into Leyte, claiming her husband as he tried to protect her from being swept away. “My world turned upside down. I still remember very well the dirty, murky water drowning my family and my neighbors. Many have died and been left homeless. How can one forget November 8?” Per said as she held back her tears, recalling the horrific day one year ago. Yolanda affected 171 cities and municipalities in 14 provinces and six regions, destroying or damaging more than a million homes, leaving more than 6,000 people dead — at least by the official count — and a thousand more missing, and displacing some 4.1 million. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, in a report released in September, said Yolanda caused the largest displacement in the world last year. Even as government, caught unprepared by…

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‘New normal’ demands sturdier, low-cost shelter

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By Linette Ramos Cantalejo Thursday, November 6, 2014 SUPER typhoon Yolanda left not only damage of catastrophic proportions but also disaster response and resiliency lessons that survivors had to learn the hard way. Wooden houses of poor farming and fishing communities in northern Cebu, even those built out of concrete, didn’t stand a chance against Yolanda’s powerful winds and heavy rains. Only hours after Yolanda made landfall, one lesson seemed clear: there’s a need to build typhoon-resilient houses because a stronger house is no longer advisable, but necessary. There is now a conscious effort to make stronger houses—thicker walls and columns, sturdier roofs—that don’t easily get blown away in case a storm as powerful as Yolanda crosses Cebu’s path again. No damage Last July 26, at 7:45 a.m., a water spout hit a resettlement area in Barangay Agujo, Daanbantayan town, said Engr. Melania Lazar. By then, a model house had already…

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On November 6, FP-UA renewed its commitment to post Yolanda construction

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A year after Typhoon Haiyan struck the country, The France-Philippines United Action (FPUA), a consortium of leading French companies operating in the Philippines, has reaffirmed its commitment to the rebuilding efforts for survivors of the disaster. In line with President Benigno Aquino III’s approval of the P167.9-billion reconstruction plan for the Visayas, the FP-UA marks one year of coordinated relief efforts from the French private sector and is set to complete its two reconstruction projects in Northern Cebu early next year. In partnership with Habitat for Humanity, the FP-UA is building 74 disaster-resilient houses on 5,488-square-meter site in Barangay Agujo, Daanbantayan. Specially designed by Architect Ed Florentino, each house can withstand up to intensity 8 earthquakes and 275-300 kilometer-per-hour winds. FP-UA member Lafarge, a global leader in sustainable construction solutions, provided the construction materials used for the houses. A model house was unveiled and turned over to a beneficiary earlier…

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French firms build ‘disaster-resilient future’ for Yolanda survivors

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THE FRANCE PHILIPPIINES – UNITED ACTION. (From left): Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro, French Red Cross Country Representative Lea Gauthier, Ambassador of France to the Philippines Gilles Garachon, French Chamber of Commerce President Cyril Locke, Lafarge Holdings Philippines Inc. President and CEO and FP-UA chair Don Lee, and Habitat for Humanity CEO Charlie Ayco. Photo from France Philippines – United Action The consortium of French companies operating in the Philippines eyes completion of its two reconstruction projects in Northern Cebu by 2015 DISASTER-RESILIENT HOUSE. The Habitat for Humanity hyperbolic paraboloid house design, developed by architect Ed Florentino, being built in Barangay Agujo, Daanbantayan, Cebu. Photo from the France Philippines – United Action   MANILA, Philippines – Like many other efforts in the beginning, they all poured in help, in cash and in kind. They were all significant but uncoordinated, not sure where to channel their aid. What was clear, though, was…

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Int’l community vows to continue aid to Yolanda areas

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MANILA, Philippines – Recovery efforts in areas that Super Typhoon Yolanda devastated last year will continue to receive support from United Nations agencies and the international community. Luisa Carvalho, UN Country Team resident and humanitarian coordinator in the Philippines, said the support will be given at all levels, particularly through the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery and relevant line departments. In a statement yesterday, Carvalho said they are privileged to have been able to contribute to the humanitarian response. “We are humbled by the extraordinary resilience of the Filipino people who, despite the unprecedented destruction and tragedy that struck, pushed through individually and collectively, and with generosity of spirit, to this point where recovery is well underway,” she said. Carvalho said recovery started as soon as two months after the catastrophe, with UN agencies and partners shifting gears to rehabilitation and development work in August, due…

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French biz community renews commitment to help ‘Yolanda’ victims

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MANILA, Philippines – The French business community in the Philippines has renewed its commitment to aid the continuing rehabilitation of areas in Northern Cebu that have been damaged by typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) last year. In line with President Aquino’s approval of the P167.9-billion reconstruction plan for the Visayas, the French business community in the country – the France-Philippines United Action (FPUA) – on Thursday reaffirmed its commitment as it marked one year of coordinated relief efforts from the French private sector and is set to complete its two reconstruction projects in Northern Cebu early next year. In partnership with Habitat for Humanity, FPUA has built 74 disaster-resilient houses on 5,488-square-meter site in Barangay Agujo, Daanbantayan, Cebu. The houses will be handed over to selected families before Christmas. Daanbantayan is composed of 15 coastal barangays and two island barangays that were all devastated by Yolanda. Specially designed by architect…

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