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Win wants “friendly” housing package for Marawi residents

MARAWI CITY, Philippines – Senator Win Gatchalian, together with Valenzuela City and local officials in Marawi City, in a visit at Sangonsongan shelter project spearheaded by the National Housing Authority (NHA), 1 Oct 2017. Gatchalian is calling on the agency to devise a “friendly” house rebuilding package for more than 8,000 displaced families in the Most Affected Area (MAA) of the war-torn city. Photo by Mark Cayabyab/OS WIN GATCHALIAN

Senator Win Gatchalian is calling on the National Housing Authority (NHA) to devise a “friendly” house rebuilding package for more than 8,000 displaced families in the Most Affected Area (MAA) of the war-torn city of Marawi.

“The government, through the NHA, should open a window of opportunity for all of our brothers and sisters in Marawi to rebuild their homes through a friendly housing package. Its payment terms should be longer, maybe around 10 to 15 years, with interest of 2-3%, or even lower depending on the availability of funds,” said Gatchalian, a member of the  Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Marawi Rehabilitation and Reconstruction

The senator also said that national government agencies should aid Local Government Units (LGUs) in assessing the damage done to houses at ground zero, and in determining whether the structures are still worthy of habitation. From these assessments, NHA could then present a suitable financing package so that settlers could start repairing and renovating their houses.

“Nauunawaan ko po na ang mga bahay na ito ay mula sa luha, dugo at pawis ng ating mga kababayan. Masakit po talaga kung itong mga bahay ay agad-agad nating ide-demolish. Kaya po mahalaga na i-assess muna natin kung pwede pa nilang ayusin at mula doon ay mabibigyan sila ng gobyerno ng tulong pinansiyal,” he said.

(“I understand these houses are made of their tears, blood and sweat. It would really be painful for any owner to see his house torn down in an instant. That’s why we need to assess if these structures can still be repaired and from there the government should provide the necessary financial aid,” he said.)

According to Undersecretary Falconi Millar of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) there are 6,400 temporary shelter units under construction in  Brgy. Sagonsongan. They are expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Different modalities, Millar added, were being applied to fast-track the construction, including partnerships with LGUs for the construction of 2,000 more shelters, and with other benefactor organizations through donations.

Construction of 2,700 permanent shelters, on the other hand, shall commence as soon as the Task Force Bangon Marawi identifies the location where these new units will rise.

Meanwhile Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario, Task Force Bangon Marawi Chairman, said the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) is scheduled to present before President Rodrigo Duterte the Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Plan (CRRP) on March 12.

The CRRP is a detailed plan of the government with respect to the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi City, based on the Post-Conflict Needs Assessment (PCNA) completed December last year. This will also include the budgetary requirements for the implementation the plan, as well as a timetable of target deliverables.