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Govt to build mini city for Marawi IDPs

By ARGYLL B. GEDUCOS

The government is set to build a “mini city” for the citizens displaced by the war in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, as rebuilding of the besieged city might take two to three years.

This as the war against the Daesh-inspired Maute group in Marawi enters its fourth month on Saturday, Sept. 23.

According to Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) spokesperson Romina Marasigan, the Task Force Bangon Marawi is planning to construct 1,500 transitional houses in a 14-hectare land at P160,000 per unit.

The Task Force initially considered the construction of 1,100 houses at a 10-hectare land in Barangay Sagonsongan, the approved transitional site which is approximated 3.6 kilometers from the main battle area.

“The reason kung bakit ginagawa na ‘to na parang city na siya [is] because inaasahan natin it would still take a lot of [time before Marawi gets rehabilitated] – I mean, initially,” Marasigan said during the Mindanao Hour/Bangon Marawi press briefing yesterday morning.

“Initial pa lang naman na discussions ‘to kasi hindi pa tapos ang ating assessment. Mga around two, three years kasi tinitingnan natin,” she added.

Marasigan also acknowledged that since the assessment on the situation in Marawi City is not yet completed, the period for the rehabilitation may still get longer or shorter.

“It is possible [that it will take more than three years], or even earlier. Depende ‘yun sa ating magiging resulta ng ating assessment ng mga assessment teams natin,” she said.

Marasigan also explained that it would be better to build a mini city because according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the government would be ‘rebuilding’ and not just do some repairs in the besieged city.

“So nagbubuo tayo ng community kasi kailangan may feeling ‘yung ating IDPs – may semblance of normalcy in the transitional shelters,” she said.

She also clarified that the transitional houses is different from the government’s permanent shelter housing for the Marawi IDPs.

Marasigan also said that the government is allocating P5 billion to help the IDPs during their two- to three-year stay in the transitional shelters.

She added that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is also looking for additional funds from the savings of other government agencies.

“Ito ‘yung mga tinitingnan at ine-explore natin, para ma-sustain ‘yung ating pagbibigay ng ayuda sa ating mga kababayan na nandoon ngayon sa Iligan at ‘yung other pa na mga areas sa evacuation centers,” Marasigan said.

The OCD official also said that the Task Force Bangon Marawi also has a livelihood program for the IDPs.

According to Marasigan, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) have completed the access roads in the transitional shelter site.

Citing the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, she said the units which will be used for the transitional shelters will be a steel wall sandwich model.

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