It is literally business as usual for the people of Magsaysay, a town in Davao del Sur, hit hard by strong earthquakes measuring Magnitude 6 plus and a series of continuing aftershocks since October last year.
Aside from helping thousands of earthquake victims pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, the municipality’s local government unit (LGU) headed by Mayor Arthur Davin, an engineer, is currently in the thick of processing new applications and renewal of business permits.
According to Anthony Allada, municipal information officer, the town’s Business One-Stop Shop (BOSS) is in full operation even if the municipal offices are temporarily housed in tents.
The farming town is also now in the rehabilitation and recovery stage.
As of now, there are still some 2,000 families still in 13 evacuation centers of the town, Allada said.
“Naa pud home-based evacuees, mga 5,000 families,” the information officer said. Home-based evacuees are those living in tents and other shelters near their destroyed homes. Most of them are due for relocation to safer places at the expense of the Duterte government.
Allada said the National Housing Authority (NHA), headed by Marcelino P. Escalada Jr., a Dabawenyo who is concurrently the secretary general of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDC), is committed to build 2,002 housing units initially. He said the NHA has started construction of 71 prefabicated houses in barangay Malawanit, with each unit costs some P250,000.
Aftershocks are still being reportedly felt in neighboring towns of Davao del Sur, North and South Cotabato and lately in the Agusan provinces.