VARIOUS SPONSORS have committed to fund an initial 40 temporary shelters under the adopt-a-home program for families displaced by the October earthquakes in Cotabato. These will be built in the town of Tulunan, the epicenter of the strong tremors that shook Mindanao. Vice Governor Emmylou T. Mendoza, who initiated the program that has been made part of the Comprehensive Provincial Rebuilding Plan (CPRP), said the donors are the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Davao Chapter for 20 units, a group from Siargao for 10, and Provincial Board Member Shirlyn Macasarte-Villanueva for another 10.

Ms. Mendoza said the sponsors will be buying the materials themselves to expedite the construction process and they are counting on labor assistance from volunteers for the construction. Members of the military, Department of Public Works and Highways, and church groups are among those that they are counting on to assist in building the simple houses. The temporary shelter design was made by military engineers, taking into consideration earthquake resistance and quick construction. “The group of IBP-Davao is just waiting for the bill of materials so they can already make the purchase and deliver here,” she said in an interview. Office of Civil Defense Regional Director Minda C. Morante said they will provide blankets and a water system for the temporary relocation area. The property was purchased by the Tulunan municipal government, and it is awaiting certification from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology as a safe area. Ms. Mendoza said they have already turned over five units to families in Barangay Magbok and they are targeting 100 for the town. “It is not easy to live in a tent,” Ms. Mendoza said in mixed English and Filipino, “here in the temporary shelters, their situation is more comfortable.” — Maya M. Padillo