The INQUIRER - Biggest newspaper in the Philipines
‘Yolanda’ homes up in 5 days in Leyte
TANAUAN, Leyte—“Can they actually build your house in five days? Impossible! How are you going to pay them?”
The neighbors of Rosana Aguipo, 58, were incredulous when she told them that engineers, architects, carpenters, electricians and skilled craftsmen from the Jehovah’s Witnesses—the Christian denomination known for its door-to-door ministry—had pledged to waive professional fees and sacrifice time, energy and resources to build her a new house.
Since Dec. 26 last year, several teams of local and foreign Witness volunteers have been quietly building and repairing the homes of their members and their houses of worship, called Kingdom Halls, under their quick-build program, Local Design Construction (LDC), in Leyte and Samar.
As of April 25, more than 200 houses in Leyte and Samar had been erected, five months after Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) devastated huge areas of eastern Visayas.
Each team of eight volunteers is able to finish building one house in five days. Construction, however, could stretch to 10 days, depending on the weather and the availability of materials.
Under the LDC program, which was set up by the Governing Body of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, hundreds of modest yet suitable houses have been erected for church members and their families that were hit hard by Yolanda, said Dean Jacek, spokesperson for the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Philippines.