By Frank E. Dosdos, Jr.
ILIGAN City — Two years after the liberation of the Islamic City of Marawi from the ISIS-Maute occupation, a 1.8 – hectare build site purchased by the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) broke ground in Barangay Dulay West of the Marawi City as part of the US$10-million funding of the Japanese government for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme’s (UN-Habitat) “Rebuilding Marawi” through Community-Driven Shelter and Livelihood Project.
According to a report from Kenneath Bolisay, Knowledge Management and Communication Officer of the said project, the site will host around 100 families from the villages of Saduc Proper, Raya Saduc, South Madaya, and Dagubduban who were displaced as a result of the heavy fighting between insurgents and government security forces in May 2017.
Bolisay also reported that last week, a groundbreaking ceremony was also held in the National Housing Authority site for the construction of 500 houses in Barangay Kilala, Marawi City.
The housing project with the SHFC was launched through a groundbreaking ceremony held on Thursday together with the Board of Directors from SHFC led by its president Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling; and officials from the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development led by Secretary Eduardo del Rosario; Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong, Jr.; and Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra.
UN-Habitat Country Programme Manager, Christopher Rollo, said the construction of the shelter units will be carried out through an approach called the “People’s Process” that places the community’s needs and their rights at the center of their recovery and rehabilitation.
“This project emphasizes the direct involvement of the families or home partners in the decision making and the construction of their shelter units,” Rollo said.
“The partner communities underwent a series of workshops to be informed of the best structural design of their houses along with religious and cultural considerations,” the report added.
Each unit can accommodate up to three rooms for eight family members. When the unit is turned over to the designated home partner, the report stated.
According to Cabling, the partner communities can stay in the land for 99 years under a usufruct agreement, which means that they will not have to pay for the land during that period. But they can also opt to purchase the lot where their house will stand when they gain the capacity to do so.
In marking the second anniversary of Marawi City’s liberation, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Secretary Eduardo del Rosario reiterated the government’s pledge in bringing normalcy back to the city by December 2021 as indicated in their original timeline.
According to Del Rosario, several activities organized by the Task Force Bangon Marawi comprised of 56 member-agencies had been lined up to commemorate the historic event.
He also wants to give importance to the heroism of soldiers who lost their lives during the five-month siege, as well as the resilience of both the government and affected communities.