The construction site of the housing units for 100 families from Barangay West Dulay, who were displaced by the Marawi siege, broke ground during the commemoration of the second anniversary of the capital’s liberation from Islamic State-inspired terrorists.
The ceremony was part of the reporting event for the media organized by Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), the Presidential Communications Operations Office, and the Philippine Information Agency to show the progress of the government’s rehabilitation and recovery efforts for those affected by the Battle of Marawi.
Present during the event were TFBM chairperson and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Secretary Eduardo del Rosario; Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra; Sultan Nasser Sampaco; Social Housing Finance Corp. (SHFC) president, lawyer Arnolfo Cabling; members of the SHFC Board of Directors Lyndon Catulong Sr. and Ronald Barcena; UN-Habitat project manager Warren Ubongen; and contractor Fiat-a Macarambon.
In his speech, del Rosario gave a message of hope to thousands of the city’s internally displaced persons (IDPs).
“We are now ready to start with the construction of permanent housing units for the IDPs,” he told the beneficiaries, who have been living along the three-meter easement of the Agus River and Lake Lanao.
Aside from the 109 housing units that will be built in the coming months, del Rosario also noted that the TFBM secured 500 units of permanent shelters last week with the help of UN-Habitat and the National Housing Authority (NHA).
He said that with the 500 units already secured and the 109 units that broke ground, they already have 609 units, but still need to fast-track the rest of the 1,500 units promised by UN-Habitat, otherwise the remaining fund would be given back by March 31 next year.
Del Rosario said that by the end of October, they would declare the most affected area (MAA) in Marawi – the Ground Zero — cleared of bombs and hazards, having detected and recovered 625 explosives so far.
The NHA, he added, would declare the completion of damaged structures in the MAA by November 30.
“By the first quarter of next year, most of the projects that will be constructed in the MAA will start. That is why we are certain of our timetable. We have been saying that we are on track and we will complete the rehabilitation of Marawi by December 2021,” del Rosario said.
The processing of building permit applications for structures by residents in the MAA, began last July 30, allowing them to demolish the damaged houses from sectors 1 to 7 of the MAA and start architectural and engineering plans.
The Subcommittee on Housing, headed by the HUDCC and NHA, is already monitoring the temporary shelter units at the Biyaya ng Pagbabago Sagonsongan Transitory Site, which will accommodate 1,052 displaced households for Areas 1 to 6.
An additional 300 temporary shelter units in Area 8 are also under construction. At the Boganga Lakeview Shelter Site alone, 814 out of the 1,500 target housing units have been completed and 687 of these are already occupied by the displaced families.
In Barangay Rorogagus, a total of 1,000 housing units are being constructed in two sites and another 1,000 units will also be constructed in Barangay Dulay.
For the permanent housing, a total of 2,000 units will be constructed in Pamayandeg sa Ranaw Residences in barangays Kilala and Gadongan.
Apart from these housing units, the NHA will also construct two five-story low-rise buildings and one three-story multi-purpose building with a covered basketball court in Barangay Papandayan in Marawi.
“By December of 2021, I think 95 percent of the structures have been built. And Marawi City will be a prosperous city again, as promised by our President (Rodrigo Duterte),” del Rosario said.
He also floated the swift passage of an executive order (EO) that seeks to make the NHA the lead agency in undertaking key rehabilitation projects in the war-torn capital of Lanao del Sur, saying that the EO would authorize the NHA to undertake the unified road networks, electrical and water utilities, and telecommunication projects.
Del Rosario said that one agency should integrate the budget “because if all the agencies involved will do the road networks and the procurement processes for the water, electricity, and telecommunications have not (been) finalized yet, then everything will diverge,” he said.
Del Rosario said they were expecting the EO to be released this month as it has been with the Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea since last month.
It can be recalled that two years ago, the President announced the liberation of Marawi City after a gruelling five-month conflict to fend off Islamic State-inspired terrorists.
Since then, the task force’s 56 member agencies have continuously worked together to bring the lives of the residents back to normal through efforts in several areas.
For livelihood, micro, small and medium entrepreneurs of Marawi City have earned a total of PHP722,140 during the Bangon Marawi Trade Fair. On medical and health services, the Department of Health, in partnership with the World Health Organization – Philippines and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, targeted 134,441 children who were less than five years old across 39 municipalities in Lanao del Sur for its campaign against polio.
On relief services, the Department of Social Welfare and Development distributed hygiene kits, family kits, food packs, and malongs to displaced families in transitory shelters. Taiwan, through the World Vision Philippines, also donated a total of 66,000 sacks of rice at 30 kg. per sack for the displaced families.
For skills training, the Department of Information and Communications Technology conducted a workshop for 100 IDP scholars on online freelancing jobs and the IT-BPM industry for the countryside, as well as a workshop for 25 IDP scholars on social media marketing and advertising technical training.
The residents and rebel returnees in Butig, Lanao del Sur have availed of the different government services and programs during the Kumpas Barangay: Information-Serbisyo Caravan from various government line agencies.
The Department of Public Works and Highways’ contractors, in charge of the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Banggolo, Mapandi, and Pumping bridges, have also started reconstructing 18.97 km. of the Transcentral Roads, with funding from the Official Development Assistance of the government of Japan for the war-torn city. (PNA)