Robredo checks on temporary shelters for displaced Marawi families
MARAWI CITY — Barely a year and two months old, Saliya Macadaya, has been left with seven of her siblings to the care of her grandmother in an evacuation tent in Baloi, Laao del Norte.
Her mother, Nihara Ibrahim, and father, Saidamen Azis Macadaya, had to leave for Laguna where they work as vendors.
The Macadaya family was just one of around 14,000 families whose houses were destroyed during the war in Marawi.
Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra said Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) and the local government would only build 5,000 temporary shelters for the evacuees, prioritizing those who used to own houses on ground zero but willing to live in the transitory shelters and who would not sell or let others rent the units.
Following up at the barangay hall for weeks, Sania, the oldest of Saliya’s siblings, counted on their chances of winning the raffle for a slot in a better temporary shelter.
Their luck came last week when they were among the 60 families who won the slot to occupy the newly-finished temporary shelters at Area 7 of Biyaya ng Pagbabago Temporary Shelter Site in Barangay Sagonsongan here.
The area, called Angat Buhay Village, is funded by the Angat Buhay Foundation through the “Piso Para sa Laban ni Leni,” a donation drive that raised some P7.4 million for Vice President Leni Robredo, initially intended to pay the remaining half of the required cash deposit in the electoral protest pending before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
Robredo, who led the symbolic turn-over of units to the beneficiaries last Tuesday, July 17, said her office planned to build 40 more temporary housing units for the village, to hit its target of providing 100 transitory shelters for Marawi evacuees.
Beneficiaries with low incomes, as certified by the barangay chairperson, would be prioritized for the units, according to Housing Assistant Secretary Felix Castro, Field Office Manager of TFBM.
“Those who cannot be accommodated in the temporary shelters were sent to their homes in the province (called Send Home Program),” Gandamra said. “Pero dahil po sa mga kababayan natin na nagsibalikan, bumabalik sa mga evacuation center, ang sabi ng ating gobyerno itigil muna ang programa kasi
nagkakaroon ng duplication at overlapping.”
During her visit, Robredo talked to some of the beneficiaries in their new houses, where they asked for livelihood assistance to support their families.
Robredo said her office and partners would look into available options to address this.
She said that, being a mother herself, she found it heartbreaking to see small children left by their parents at the evacuation site, under the watch of their grandmother.
Apparently moved by the situation of the Macadaya children, Robredo said she would ask her staff to look for the Macadaya couple and ask the wife to go home and take care of her children.
She said her office could help provide capital for the couple. But maybe the mother could just return and say in Marawi, considering that the child’s grandmother was already old.
The Macadayas’ 13-year-old daughter, Salmairah, was overwhelmed on hearing on the offer. She said they had been longing ofr their mother to come home to take care of them.
“It would be better if she would just stay here,” Salmairah said in an interview with the Inquirer. “It’s really different if Mama will be the one to take care of my siblings.” /atm
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