For many families from the small, coastal town of New Washington in Aklan whose houses were swept away by Typhoon Haiyan’s strong winds and deep floodwaters a year ago, this Christmas becomes especially meaningful as they not only get to spend time with their families but get to do so in their new homes.
All set to move in before the holidays, Salima Alcala and Nelia Roga together with 38 other families are filled with gratitude and hope as they await their wonderful gift from Globe Telecom and Gawad Kalinga.
Unlike what they previously had, the beneficiaries will be living in houses that are built back better. The GK Tattoo Village was established farther away from the coastline and the houses feature GK’s new design which is not only beautiful but also practical. It allows families to put a loft which can be used as a bedroom or an extra living space and which can also help secure the lives of the residents in case floodwaters come in.
“Excited na kami magkaroon ng sariling bahay tapos matibay na ‘yung titirhan namin. Hindi na kami takot (We’re excited to have our own house which is sturdy. We’re not afraid anymore),” enthused Salima Alcala. Salima and her family had to evacuate their home and move to higher ground when floodwaters engulfed their house.
Another resident Nelia Roga said: “Gusto ko sabihin sa Globe na nagpapasalamat kami na tumulong sila sa amin, nabigyan kami ng bahay. (We want to tell Globe that we are grateful for their effort to provide us with a house).” Although Nelia and family did not leave during the onslaught, their house still suffered severe damage which forced them to stay with relatives.
“One of the things necessary to rebuild the communities and bring back a semblance of normalcy is for those affected by the disaster to again have their own homes instead of living with relatives or in makeshift shelters. So we are glad to finally see the fruits of our efforts to provide homes for Typhoon Haiyan victims. However, we are not stopping until we fulfill all our commitments. That is why we are working closely with Gawad Kalinga in building more houses,” said Yoly Crisanto, SVP, Globe Corporate Communications.
The housing initiative is one of the efforts by Globe to rehabilitate the hardest-hit municipalities of Aklan as the development sponsor of the province under the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery. Going beyond New Washington, Globe is also establishing another 40 homes in the town of Libacao. These homes in Aklan are in addition to the 103 already built in Ormoc.