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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bohol Shakes Off Dust of Tragedy

It's been 5 months since 7.2 magnitude earthquake shattered Bohol's centuries old churches, toppled infrastructure and traumatized the province's 1.3 million inhabitants with 4,600 aftershocks. The Oct. 15, 2013 quake had claimed 210 lives injured more than 750 persons rendered about 80,000 families homeless and displaced almost a third of the province's population. The quake has been considered as the worst of it's kind to hit Bohol in half millennium. The basis for saying this is that: If the stone churches in Baclayon and Loboc towns stood intact for the last 400 years until last year, then it may be accurate to say that no ground shaking as devastating as the Oct. 15 tremor had rocked Bohol during the churches' 400 year lifespan. Despite the damage estimated to be worth Php 6 Billion, Boholanos have remained unflinching in their will to live as they shake off the dust of tragedy. Quoting various sources, the governor said that Bohol's disaster response has been cited as "Model of Action and Preparedness." More than 300,000 individuals or 60,000 families had received food and water packs. For shelter projects the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has set Php 912.69 Million, while the National Housing Authority (NHA), Php 38.85 million according to Gov. Chatto. On Feb. 10, 2014 DSWD Sec. Soliman and with Gov. Chatto signed memorandum of agreement with Habitat for Humanity to build 8,083 disaster resistant houses worth Php 710 Million. Under this the DSWD in coordination with Bohol government will allocate Php 70,000 while the Habitat for Humanity will shell out Php 18,000 for each housing unit identified in the Core Shelter Assistance Project (CSAP). Aside from rebuilding homes, damaged roads and bridges like the Abatan and Tagbuane bridges were also repaired. To restore the ancient churches and national heritages sites Php 650 Million has been allocated by the national government as confirmed by Budget Sec. Abad on Mar. 8, 2014.     
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