DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario signs MOAs with Marinduque Gov. Presbitero Velasco Jr. and Leyte Gov. Leopoldo Dominico Petilla at the Central Office boardroom on Friday that will pave the way for the construction of more evacuation facilities in the two provinces. (DHSUD-CDMRD) 

QUEZON CITY – The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) has finalized separate accords with the local governments of Marinduque and Leyte that will pave the way for the construction of more evacuation centers in the two provinces.

On Friday morning, DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario and Marinduque Gov. Presbitero Velasco Jr. signed a Memorandum of Agreement at the Central Office boardroom for the evacuation facilities slated to soon rise in the municipalities of Mocpog and Torrijos.

The facilities are part of the Department’s commitment in establishing sustainable and safe Filipino communities nationwide, as well as boost the country’s overall disaster preparedness, particularly in areas prone to natural disasters and other calamities.

“This agreement is part of the (province’s) Physical Framework Plan (finalized) way back last year. Through the joint efforts of the Department, and the Marinduque LGU, establishing evacuation centers in Mocpog and Torrijos will definitely play a huge role in boosting the province’s disaster preparedness,” Secretary Del Rosario said.

“We are thankful for the province of Marinduque for giving us this opportunity of providing assistance,” the housing czar added.

Meanwhile, in his message, Gov. Velasco thanked the government for its support through DHSUD, saying the evacuation centers will be pivotal in saving people’s lives in times of calamities.

“We, of course, know that Bicol is the gateway of storms and typhoons but sometimes they visit also the province of Marinduque. In the past, we bared witness the province being directly hit by supertyphoons Rolly and Quinta and likewise Ulysses, which have brought much damage to our province,” Gov. Velasco stressed.

“This grant for the evacuation centers … will surely help us in saving lives,” he noted.

Witnessing the key event were DHSUD Undersecretary Marylin Pintor, Regional Office 4B Director Julius Enciso, Housing and Real Estate Development Regulation Bureau (HREDRB) OIC-Director Atty. Angelito Aguila, Public Assistance Service Director Mario Mallari and other Department and Marinduque LGU officials.

Later in the day, Secretary Del Rosario also sealed a similar accord with Leyte Gov. Leopoldo Dominico Petilla, with the housing czar reiterating DHSUD’s all-out support in helping local government units further bolster measures to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change.

The MOA will pave the way for the construction of three evacuation centers in Palo, Hilongos and San Isidro – all of which were previously battered by strong typhoons.

Secretary Del Rosario likewise commended the efforts of DHSUD Regional Office 8 under OIC-Director Evelyn Bobier and the HREDRB in pushing for the pacts’ finalization.

Gov. Petilla, in his message, expressed gratitude to the Department, for the upcoming facilities that he said will be of great help to Leyteños, especially those still reeling from the adverse impact of previous typhoons.

Subsequently, the DHSUD chief signed a MOA for a community development assistance program with the Flores Village Homeowners Association from Malaybalay, Bukidnon.

The pact commits DHSUD to construct a multi-purpose covered court and land development that will benefit HOA members – signifying the Department’s intent in going down to the grassroots level in offering shelter-related assistance.

Witnessing the accords’ finalization were Undersecretary Marylin Pintor and Assistant Secretary Melissa Aradanas and DHSUD Regional Office 10 Director Ariel Abragan.

Friday’s activities came just four days after Secretary Del Rosario graced the groundbreaking and Memorandum of Agreement-signing ceremonies for land development of a housing project intended for government employees in Brgy. Catalanacan, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija – part of DHSUD’s proactive steps in boosting engagements with LGUs nationwide.

In his message, the housing czar cited the major upgrade in the implementation of housing projects, particularly in ensuring quality, under the Duterte administration.

Also included in the project is the repair of existing units under Phase I, as well as the construction of a multi-purpose covered court and a daycare center.

Gracing the activities were Muñoz City LGU officials led by incumbent Mayor Nestor Alvarez and presumptive Mayor Armi Alvarez, who both expressed gratitude to DHSUD for the housing project, as well as Atty. Aguila and DHSUD Regional Office 3 Director Felix Brazil Jr., whose efforts have been instrumental in the realization of the project. (30) — CVC