MARAWI CITY, Philippines – The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) signed an agreement Thursday, May 24, with the Philippine government’s Task Force Bangon Marawi and the local government of Marawi City for the construction of 1,500 housing units in the war-torn city.
The said housing project, estimated to cost to more or less P1 billion, will be awarded to Marawi residents whose houses had been devastated by the siege. The units, which will be awarded for free, will be funded through Socialized Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC).
According to Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairman Secretary Edward Del Rosario, those who will particularly benefit from the project are dwellers along the banks of Lake Lanao and Agus River. The government will no longer allow them to return to their former homes because the areas are part of the lake and river easement zones.
However, only those who will be certified by the LGU as legitimate owners of a specific property in the area will be allowed to return.
“Kahit wala silang title, kung talagang diyan sila nakatira at will be certified by the barangay officials and the city government, then we will allow them. Hindi na natin kukuwestiyonin kung may title ka o wala,” said Del Rosario.
(If they really live there and the barangay officials and the city government certifies it, then we will allow them [to return]. We will not question anymore whether or not they have a title.)
Based on the record of the local government, there are around 27,925 internally displaced persons in Marawi City. There is no exact date yet as to the start of the construction project because TK Bangon Marawi is still locating a site where the housing units will be erected. – Raymond Octobre / Marje Pelayo
Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) announced on Friday that the livelihood assistance for qualified residents of Marawi City will be distributed in the first week of April.
TFBM Chairperson Eduardo del Rosario said at a press briefing that a total of 32,000 qualified residents will receive aid amounting to P20,000 each family beginning April 6.
“On April 6 and 7, we are going to start giving the livelihood and transitional package of assistance to all residents of Marawi,” he said.
On top of this, residents from ground zero or the area mostly affected during the 2017 siege would also receive an additional P53,000 worth of financial assistance, del Rosario added.
“As of now, based on our profiling there are 32,000 qualified residents. All these 32,000 residents will be given P20,000 livelihood assistance and those residing in the most affected area will be given additional P53,000 additional by DSWD,” he said.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will lead the distribution of livelihood assistance to Marawi residents.
Although efforts to reconstruct Marawi are still ongoing, del Rosario said that residents are still advised against returning to their destroyed homes.
Del Rosario explained that authorities are still clearing the area from debris and unexploded ordnance that were left in the area after the intense fighting between the government forces and the Maute terrorists.
The military previously said that most of the unexploded bombs penetrated deep into the ground and could not safely be excavated with heavy equipment. Removing unexploded ordnance has also been difficult because of lack of radar equipment to detect where exactly the bombs are.
The TFBM estimates to complete the clearing operations by September. – Robie de Guzman
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