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Displaced Marawi families get shelter

TASK Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Chairman Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario on Thursday spearheaded the turnover of permanent shelters to families of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Marawi — highlighting his latest visit to the country’s only Islamic City this week.

Del Rosario witnessed the distribution of permanent house ownership certificates from the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) to 109 IDP-families during the inauguration of the Marawi Resettlement Site and Permanent Houses (Phase 1) in Barangay West Dulay.

Erected on a 100-square-meter lot, each two-story house has a floor area of 42 square meters and is equipped with toilet and bathroom, a kitchen, basic lighting and outlets as well as a sewage piping system. The subdivision-like resettlement has electric and water supplies.

Joining Del Rosario at the momentous event were DHSUD Undersecretary Zyril Carlos, Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) Marawi project manager Engr. Felman Gilbang, TFBM Field Office manager Assistant Secretary Felix Castro Jr., Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra and other officials from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

Del Rosario said the activity, the first-ever turn over of permanent housing, symbolizes the government’s full commitment in helping those affected by the siege get back on their feet in partnership with UN-Habitat, along with SHFC and the TFBM, as well as its implementing agencies.

The government, through the TFBM, remains steadfast in helping our Maranao brothers and sisters affected by the 2017 siege rebuild their lives in coordination with the implementing agencies and partner-organizations like UN-Habitat,” the TFBM chief stressed.

Having a house that the IDPs can now call their own is part of our commitment in ensuring Marawi’s overall rehabilitation,” he noted.

Del Rosario likewise added that a safe, sustainable and resilient home is a primary safeguard against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The permanent shelters, constructed on a 1.8-hectare land provided and developed by SHFC, were built by UN-Habitat through its Community-Driven Shelter and Livelihood Project with a USD10-million grant from the Japanese government.

The 109 IDP-families were from various Marawi villages that were severely affected by the five-month siege laid by Daesh-inspired terrorists that began in May 2017.

They are the first batch of Marawi IDPs to be entitled with permanent shelters. More than 3,000 permanent shelters are currently in various phases of construction in Marawi.

Del Rosario, who also heads the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, is on his second visit to Marawi this year aimed at closely monitoring the progress of the city’s rehabilitation.

Upon his arrival on Wednesday, the TFBM chief led a key meeting among implementing agencies to discuss the latest status and updates of their respective projects in Marawi.

He has repeatedly insisted that government-led efforts in completing the massive rehabilitation of the war-torn city have persisted despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Del Rosario also disclosed that measures such as implementing double-shifts and hiring of more workers are underway to ensure that the completion of the projects will be hastened.

The TFBM chairman likewise inspected the ongoing refurbishment of the Disomangcop Mosque, as well as made an ocular visit to the Marawi City Jail, whose construction remains ongoing.

Del Rosario also toured other projects, including permanent housing sites in Brgy. Gadungan and Brgy. Kilala, and inspected the Datu Naga barangay hall complex, the Grand Padian Market and the Marawi museum.

A short briefing with members of the media was held later on Thursday to help further raise public awareness on the latest developments regarding the government-led rehabilitation of Marawi City.

Last month, Del Rosario conducted similar ocular inspections at various infrastructure projects inside Marawi’s Most Affected Area, reiterating that the city’s rebuilding process remains on track and that they are within schedule of the December 2021 timeline with regards to completion of projects.

The TFBM chief likewise held a consultation meeting with representatives of civil society organizations in Lanao del Sur to seek their assistance in monitoring the progress of Marawi’s rehabilitation.