French firms build ‘disaster-resilient future’ for Yolanda survivors
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 that they wanted to ease the damage brought about by supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan), considered the most destructive typhoon recorded in modern history.
On November 15, 2013, 7 days after Yolanda hit caused death and destruction in the Visayas, French Ambassador to the Philippines Gilles Garachon summoned representatives of leading French companies, plus those from the Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur and the French Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, to discuss relief activities led by the French community. Thus, the France-Philippines United Action (FP-UA) was created.
A year after Yolanda, FP-UA has reaffirmed its commitment to the rebuilding efforts for Yolanda survivors, as aligned with President Benigno Aquino III’s approval of the P167.9-billion ($3.74 billion**) reconstruction plan for the Visayas.
Their coordinated effort: to complete its two reconstruction projects in Northern Cebu by early-2015.
Building resilient houses
FP-UA raised $613,700 from different French companies used for the two reconstruction projects.
To realize their efforts, FP-UA partnered with non-profit organizations immersed in disaster relief and rehabilitation efforts.
Together, they are building 74 disaster-resilient houses on 5888 square meter (sqm) site in Barangay Agujo, Daanbantayan, Northern Cebu, to be called the “French Village.” The site was donated by the Cebu local government.
Designed by architect Ed Florentino, each house can withstand up to intensity 8 earthquakes and 275-300 kilometer per hour (kph) winds. Lafarge, a sustainable construction solutions company, provided the materials for the houses.
A total of 74 homes will be erected, including a community center. To date, 56 houses have been completed.
In May, a model house was unveiled. Houses in this site are expected to be completed in December this year.
For Rappler's full coverage of the 1st anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), go to this page.
*Figures from the France Philippines - United Action
**($1 = P44.90)