MARAWI CITY — The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) formally wrapped up its Rebuilding Marawi Project with the Handover of Community Management and Permanent Shelters on Thursday (May 19).
The culminating event was held at Hadiya Village in Barangay Dulay West this city.
In the course of its four years of engagement in Marawi, the UN-Habitat was able to build 1000 permanent shelters, 462 of them were turned over to families affected by the 2017 siege during last Thursday’s handover ceremony.
Constructed with US10-million funding support from the government of Japan, the houses were built on land procured and developed by Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) and National Housing Authority.
The 1000 families lived within the three to six meters easement along the Agus River and Lake Lanao-areas officially categorized by the government as “no dwell zone” and others that were affected by the development projects within the post-war Ground Zero/Most Affected Area (MAA).
“We and our partners are truly honored to be part of this rebuilding process,” the UN-Habitat Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific Atsushi Koresawa said in a statement delivered by UN-Habitat Country Programme Manager Christopher Rollo.
The Rebuilding Marawi Project demonstrates that adequate housing is at the center of sustainable development because having an adequate home empowers a family to satisfy its basic needs while providing a space to dream, engage in gainful livelihood, commune with neighbors and become communities of peace, he said.
Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) President Atty. Arnolfo Ricardo B. Cabling said that the Rebuilding of Marawi through participatory housing entailed a lot of hard work among many partners who not only pooled financial and human resources but also spent thousands of hours on the ground.
“We thank all of them, especially the communities, UN-Habitat, Office of Civil Defense, Task Force Bangon Marawi, and the local government of Marawi City. We hope that the partnership that we have formed here will continue in other parts of the country,” he added.
“It was not just houses that UN-Habitat built,” said Oling Manalao, who spoke on behalf of 1000 families.
“In the four years that we actively participated in the project, UN-Habitat helped us regain our confidence even as we became known as IDPs-Internally Displaced Persons,” she added.
The IDP-beneficiaries were grateful for the livelihood projects that did not just benefit the home partners but also helped so many people directly and indirectly, through the 82 different livelihood projects that their cooperative managed, said Manalao.
“Our deepest gratitude goes to the people of Japan who generously provided us the means to start anew, for making it possible for us to rebuild with dignity,” added Manalao.
Meanwhile, Marawi City Mayor Atty. Majul Gandamra expressed his heartfelt gratitude that finally after several years we have come to the last housing project which was turned over earlier to the displaced beneficiaries caused by the 2017 siege here.
“And as the father of the Islamic City of Marawi, I want to express my most profound gratitude to everyone who has contributed to the success of these various housing projects, most specially the Hidaya Village which was turned over this morning,” said Gandamra.
“Indeed, these homes will not only serve as a roof on our displaced brothers and sisters but also serve as a safe haven where they could fix what has been broken caused by the darkness days of our city’s history,” the mayor said.
“Thus, we are very thankful for our partners from the government of Japan, SHFC, the UN-Habitat, and the TFBM for prioritizing these projects for our people,” added Ganda mora.
The event was also attended by Secretary Eduardo D. Del Rosario of the Human Settlements and Urban Development Acting Regional Manager NHA Region 1X and BARMM Engr. Al-Khwarizmi U. Indanan, and United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Philippines Gustavo Gonzales among others.
Families previously awarded with the permanent houses are now living in their new communities.