Marawi families displaced by war get new houses
ILIGAN CITY — The government on Wednesday turned over only 250 of 500 housing units promised to residents displaced by the five-month fighting between soldiers and Islamic State-inspired terror groups in Marawi City, a government housing official said.
Housing Assistant Secretary Felix Castro said Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) proceeded with the scheduled turnover of temporary houses in Barangay Sagongsongan in Marawi despite the absence of President Duterte.
The turnover was supposed to be attended by the President but he went to the flood-hit town of Tubod in the nearby province of Lanao del Norte instead due to bad weather.
“I went to Marawi, [our chopper] encircled for a while but we could not make an opening there, ’di kami makapasok (we could not land) so we proceeded to Salvador (town) to view the damage before landing here (Tubod),” Mr. Duterte told, explaining his absence from the turnover.
Castro said Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, TFBM chair, led the ceremony.
The remaining 250 housing units, Castro said, would be turned over to beneficiaries in January.
Castro also said while the first 250 beneficiaries had received their certificates of ownership, they could only move in after a few days.
“We needed to finish the plumbing and [electrical] wiring inside the houses, but these are finishing touches only,” he said.
The temporary relocation site in Sagongsongan is within a 13-hectare land. TFBM had planned to build 1,175 prefabricated steel and concrete single detached houses there.
More relocation areas
Other relocation areas are in Matunggao town in Lanao del Norte, where 200 units are being built.
Farmida Macabando, President of the Association of Barangay Councils in Marawi City, said a technical working group was created to screen and verify housing beneficiaries.
She said displaced residents from 24 Marawi villages, considered as ground zero of the battle, would be given priority in the distribution of shelters.
But Macabando said residents outside the former main battle area, whose houses were burned during the siege, would also receive housing units. —Divina Suson
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