smciMACARTHUR, Leyte, Jan. 29 (PNA) — The Philippine Army has completed the construction of 61 houses in upland villages for families badly affected by super typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

Funded by the Student Movement for Christ International (SMCI), the Army prioritized the reconstruction of houses in communities vulnerable to the influence of communist insurgents.

“Rebuilding houses is a big boost to our effort to gain the trust of people. This is our tool in bringing the army closer to the local communities,” said Col. Dinoh Dolina, commander of Philippine Army’s 802nd Brigade based in Ormoc City.

The project, which benefited 100 families in Leyte’s remote villages had a total cost of Php2.55 million. The house is built out of coconut lumber, bamboo matting and galvanized iron sheets.

The Army and SMCI launched two phases of the project on May and November 2014 and were completed early this month.

The 100 beneficiaries are from hinterland communities of the towns of Burauen, Macarthur, Albuera and Baybay City. These areas are known as former hotbeds of the New People’s Army. (PNA)