By Apipa P. Bagumbaran

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur (PIA)–Humanitarian organization International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) released Monday, September 6, the payout of 100 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are beneficiaries of its Cash-for-Work project.

The IDPs are sheltered in 50 bamboo houses of “Bahay Pag-asa” (House of Hope) Phase 1 in Bito Buadi Itowa, a transitional shelter funded and constructed by the Tarlac Heritage Foundation in 2018. However, the bamboo houses have deteriorated over time due to the wet weather condition in the city. Accordingly, some IDPs used tarpaulins to cover their roofs to prevent rain from dripping and soaking their belongings.

Seeing this, the ICRC came up with a project to repair the roofs, walls, and flooring of the bamboo houses through a cash-for-work scheme.

Under the project, IDPs were commissioned to provide labor. Two representatives from each household, one skilled and one unskilled, would be paid for 10-day repair work at a combined amount of P7, 000.

“May dalawang klase ng workers, yung skilled workers sila yung house owners, yung magiging helper nila (unskilled) is the wife or other members of the family. Bawat skilled worker ay mayroong P400 per day in 10 days at yung unskilled naman is P300 per day also for 10 days,” said Josephine Ruaya ICRC Economic Security Field Officer.

[There are two types of workers, the skilled workers are the house owners, their helper will be the wife or other members of the family. Each skilled worker would receive P400 per day for 10 days and the unskilled one is P300 per day also for 10 days.]

Roofs of the bamboo houses in Bahay Pag-asa BitoTransitional Shelter before and after the implementation of ICRC’s cash-for-work project. (APB/PIA-ICIC)

ICRC provided the materials which included nipa roof sheets, shade net, and woven split-bamboo mats as well as the needed construction tools for the repair.

“Itong cash for work is a temporary employment for the IDPs in Bito Transitory Shelter. At least nagkaroon din sila ng short period na income while they are doing the cash for work,” she said.

[This cash for work is a temporary employment for the IDPs in Bito Transitory Shelter. At least they also had a short period income while they are doing the cash for work.]

Ruaya further said that the transaction code was sent directly to the IDP-beneficiaries which they can claim at any Palawan Express Padala nearest them.

Hadji Aisah Noor Tande expressed gratitude to ICRC for helping them repair their houses and at the same time giving them temporary employment.

“I am grateful because we can live in the house again without worrying about the heavy rains,” Tande said in the local dialect. She said that during heavy rains her family would stay with their relatives in the nearby CRS transitory shelter.

Dayam Didaagun is also thankful for the support provided by the ICRC to the IDPs in Bito transitory shelter.

“We are thankful because they (ICRC) took pity on us and repaired our houses,” said Didaagun.

Aside from the repair of the bamboo houses and temporary employment, ICRC also provided spare pumps for a shallow well and improved the pipelines and electrical system in the shelter site. (APB/PIA Lanao del Sur)