Five months after Typhoon Ulysses swept homes in Lupi, Camarines Sur, Vice President Leni Robredo shared that some 120 homes at the Angat Buhay Village are now ready for occupancy in May.
“So proud to share with you our Angat Buhay Villag in Lupi, Camarines Sur. 120 houses for the 120 families who lost their houses because of the landslides during Typhoon Ulysses,” the vice president said in a Facebook post on Saturday, April 24.
“Hopefully, everything will be done by May. I cannot wait to see the excitement in their faces as they start their new lives in the houses they built as one community,” Robredo added.
She recalled that after the landslides due to Typhoon Ulysses in November, their team found some 120 families camped in multipurpose halls and sitting along the sides of the streets with their belongings.
“They could not even rebuild because the area where their houses were before is already uninhabitable.”
That’s when the Office of the Vice President (OVP) decided to help them rebuild back because they have the money for the materials from their Typhoon Relief Operations Donation Drive.
However, the OVP did not have the capacity—designing, engineering, masonry, etc.
“We decided to explore and everything just fell into place,” Robredo said.
The local government unit (LGU) of Camarines Sur already had an existing partnership with the National Housing Authority (NHA) and they already purchased an area.
However, since the LGU and NHA cannot get funding to build the houses, the OVP has to step in and find the resources.
Robredo said they reached out to the University of Nueva Caceres (UNC), which eventually did the design and engineering of the houses.
But when it comes to the labor cost, that’s when the OVP said they needed to be more resourceful.
With the help of the UNC, they scheduled trainings to teach residents how to do carpentry, masonry, painting, etc.
“I visited the site a few times and was surprised that even the women were involved in the building of houses. There was so much pride in the work that they were doing and the fact that they were involved every step of the way. It paid that the LGU is very proactive in making an environment were all the stakeholders really felt empowered,” Robredo said.
The project, dubbed “BAHAYnihan,” officially began in January and aims to build safer homes for families affected by last year’s typhoons. This is the OVP’s second housing project for the typhoon victims in Robredo’s hometown of Camarines Sur.