(PN photo)

The Rotary Club of Makati Central (RCMC) on Wednesday turned over 13 typhoon-resilient shelters to the Tagbanua indigenous peoples (IP) families in Sitio Iratag, Barangay Irawan in Puerto Princesa City, who were affected by typhoon Odette which hit the city in December 2021.

RCMC aims to donate a total of 20 shelters with 13 initially completed and turned over.

Energy secretary Alfonso Cusi, who attended the event, stated that aside from Irawan, the same project will also be implemented in Brgy. Concepcion and in the northern Palawan town of Roxas, and other provinces in MIMAROPA region.

He also said each unit costs P20,000.

“Inuna lang natin itong Irawan dahil gusto natin makita ang proof of concept at susunod na ang other areas,” Cusi said adding that the project has an initial budget of around P1 million from members of RCMC.

“Bayanihan ito, ang labor is provided by beneficiaries then ang ibang materials ay ‘yong mga natumba ng bagyo [kagaya ng kawayan]. Parang we stretch the money, ginamit natin ng matipid,” Cusi said.

“Designed ito ng mga engineers at architects ng RCMC na kapag dumaan ang bagyo ay hindi na kaagad liliparin,” he added.

Before the turn over ceremony, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) has signed between RCMC, Nagkakaisang Tribo ng Palawan (NATRIPAL), and Provincial Task Force Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) and other partners.

Meanwhile, Cusi also said that this aside from the project, RCMC also has other programs that contributes to the peace and development of the country.

“Kapag insurgency-free ang isang lugar ay maraming papasok na investors. Alam naman natin na ang mga katutubo ay nagagamit [kung minsan ng mga makakaliwang grupo],” Cusi said.

RCMC Foundation President Bobby Alvarez said that housing is one of the projects of the organization intended for the victim of typhoon Odette.

“May iba’t ibang projects ang Rotary at isa dito ang housing sa Palawan para sa mga naapektuhan ng bagyo. Posible naman na gumawa tayo ng bahay na matibay na hindi masisira kahit malakas ang storm,” Alvarez said.

Ronaldo Perez, one of the beneficiaries also thanked the RCMC for giving them shelter after the typhoon Odette destroyed their houses.

“Noong panahon ng Odette talagang naiyak ako kasi ilang years ko pinagtrabahuan ang pagpapatayo ko ng bahay. Pero ngayon napawi ang lungkot namin kahit papaano kasi nabigyan kami ng bahay,” Perez said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.