GK to build houses for Guimaras oil spill victims

November 6, 2006

GAWAD Kalinga (GK) will help build houses for Guimaras residents affected by the recent oil spill.

This developed as a GK official said the group aims to address 70 percent of the country’s housing problem by building 74,000 houses for policemen and 100,000 for soldiers in the future. It also plans to build houses for teachers, media practitioners and the low-income earners.

Antonio Meloto, chairman of GK, said the group will enter Guimaras as soon as the relief operation and the siphoning of the remaining industrial fuel oil in the compartments of the sunken MT Solar 1 are completed.

He said GK will extend its assistance after all the “picture taking” is over and when the poor people are forgotten. “Masulod lang kami kon nalipatan na ang mga pigado.” The group is thinking of building concrete houses for the Guimaras residents.

The plan, however, needs the clearance from the municipal government and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau as the group plans to transfer the affected families few meters away from the shoreline.

A group of Filipinos now based in Australia will help in the project. The beneficiaries will also be given alternative means of livelihood even as they return to fishing and agriculture, said Meloto.

About 40 percent of Filipinos are landless and without homes, he said. GK would like to help the government in putting an end to the illegal squatting and landless problems.

GK is also considering to include members of the media in the housing project. Meloto said there are famous media personalities who do not even own a house. Even television cameramen may be possible beneficiaries of the GK project.

In Iloilo City alone, the GK has already built a number of houses. The lots where the houses are built on are either in relocation sites or donated by private groups. GK projects are also visible in the municipalities of Concepcion and Barotac Viejo.

GK has been involved in the several projects in the city’s different relocation sites. On November 19, GK will also start building 100 houses courtesy of a telecommunication company, and another 130 houses on the land donated by the Archbishop of Jaro.

Meloto, who is originally from Fundidor, Molo was in Iloilo City for the 1st National Convention of the Fraternal Order of Utopia. The Fraternal Order of Utopia also donated two houses to the GK. Half of the members of the fraternity are already involved in GK.

Meloto noted the importance of the local government’s help in making the GK project a success. He cited fellow Utopian and Mayor Jerry Treñas whose assistance was invaluable in the housing project.

Meloto said his group not only provide houses but also livelihood to the poor people. “We want to give them the chance to live,” he said.

He said GK envisions that in a few years, there would be no more Ilonggos who will live in shanties and on the river banks. (From a report by Maricar M. Calubiran, The News Today, Nov. 6, 2006)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: