Marawi residents may return for repair works starting July

Published May 22, 2019, 10:19 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) said that residents who were displaced by the five-month war may start returning to their homes beginning July for repair works.

Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chair Eduardo del Rosario (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chair Eduardo del Rosario

TFBM chairperson Eduardo del Rosario said that the return of residents will be conducted in phases, allowing two of the nine sectors in the most affected area every month. However, they must first secure their repair permits from the city government.

In an interview over Malacañang’s “The Virtual Presser,” the head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) also said the return of the residents may start in July as the debris management operations are now 90 percent complete even after the clearing of unexploded explosives and ordinances was stopped in November until February due to legal problems.

“We can say that the debris management is going on smoothly and we are on target. In fact, starting July — July 30 — we will start allowing the residents to go back in Sector 1,” Del Rosario said.

“Sectors 2 and 3 will be in August, and the last will be November, wherein Sectors 8 and 9 will be allowed to come in to repair their destroyed building,” he added.

According to Del Rosario, displaced families from the most affected areas may return to their homes by early 2020 when water and electricity facilities are expected to be available. He said the government will complete the repair of the most affected area by the end of 2021.

At least 17,000 of the 44,000 displaced families are still living in evacuation centers provided by the government, others are staying with their relatives in nearby areas.

The government provided about 1,750 temporary shelters and intends to complete 4,500 more by the end of the year

Last month, President Duterte expressed reluctance to help rebuild private properties destroyed in the war between government forces and pro-ISIS terrorists in 2017, saying there are many affluent people in the city, some of them even involved in the illegal drug trade.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo clarified that Duterte is only trying to say that it should be the businessmen who will shoulder the reconstruction of their own buildings or structures destroyed during the war.

“Dapat, ang sabi niya, gumastos kayo diyan. Hindi naman pwedeng kami lang ang gagastos diyan. Uunahin namin siyempre ‘yung mga taumbayan, hindi ‘yung inyo (He said they should spend for it. They cannot expect us to rebuild that. Of course, we will help first the ordinary people). You have to spend also for that,” he said.

“You cannot rely on us on that. You have to help us kasi ang (because the) priority would be the people there, hindi ‘yung negosyong nasira nung mga businessman kasi may mga pera naman sila (not the businesses of the businessmen who are affluent),” he added.

Panelo said that the funds for the rehabilitation of the war-torn Marawi City is not for the reconstruction of private businesses, but for those who lost their homes, their loved ones, and who got sick during the five-month standoff.

Almost a thousand terrorists, 47 civilians, and 165 government troops were killed after the ISIS-linked Maute group laid siege on Marawi City on May 23, 2017. A month after the war sparked, Duterte vowed that the government would rebuild the war-torn city.

The announcement for the residents to return by phases to their homes was made on the second anniversary of the government’s rehabilitation efforts in the war-torn city.