INTERNALLY displaced persons (IDPs) who have no land and living in danger areas in Marawi will be the “top priority” of the government’s permanent housing projects in the war-torn city.
Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Chairman Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario made the remark as he briefed members of the House of Representatives on the latest developments regarding the government-led rehabilitation of Marawi City during a recent hearing of the House Committee on Disaster Resilience.
Secretary Del Rosario, who also heads the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), said that following a thorough assessment and coordination with the local government of Marawi, it was determined that 3,500 IDPs within the most affected area (MAA) need housing assistance.
“IDPs without lands and living in danger zones are the priority to be given permanent shelters under our housing program,” Secretary Del Rosario said.
Among the priority IDPs were those previously living in the danger zones along the Agus River and in front of Lake Lanao.
A total of 2,000 permanent shelters are now being constructed by the National Housing Authority (NHA) set for completion by June 2021 and had likewise produced around 4,800 temporary shelters for IDPs.
In addition, the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) is also constructing 1,500 units, slated to be completed by March 2021, for a total of 3,500 permanent housing units.
Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez and Rep. Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo, who led the hearing, wanted updates from the TFBM on various projects by the implementing agencies in rebuilding the country’s Islamic City following the 2017 siege.
Secretary Del Rosario stressed that the massive rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City will be completed by December 2021.
At the same time, he said that the rehabilitation works are not only about rebuilding public infrastructures but equally important is the social intervention necessary to assist Maranaos recover from the conflict and cope-up with the adverse effects of the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The TFBM chairman said that immediately after the siege erupted in May 2017, the government has started providing livelihood and financial assistance to the affected residents. “Up to now, the government has been providing necessary help to our Maranao sisters and brothers,” he said.
Thursday’s hearing was a continuation of the deliberations for the proposed substitute bill for the Marawi Siege Compensation Act as well as other measures aimed at aiding those affected by the five-month siege laid by Daesh-inspired Maute terrorist group.
Secretary Del Rosario reiterated his support to lawmakers’ push for the new legislations, saying such measures will play a crucial role in helping the TFBM fulfill its mandate of ensuring that Marawi will “rise again” as pledged by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
“Being the lead agency in the government’s recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in Marawi, we fully support the principles and intentions behind the bills, which seek to financially assist owners of residential and commercial properties which were damaged during the Marawi siege and help them rebuild their homes and resume their commercial ventures, towards the full recovery of the once economically vibrant city,” Secretary Del Rosario said.