A scale model of permanent homes for the internally-displaced families in Marawi. (Contributed photo)
MARAWI CITY -- As part of the efforts to rebuild Marawi, the construction of 1,500 permanent homes for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Marawi began through a groundbreaking and capsule-laying ceremony in Dulay Proper on February 4.
The homes are part of the shelter component of the United Nations Human Settlement Program’s (UN-Habitat) Rebuilding Marawi Through Community-Driven Shelter and Livelihood Project.
The project is funded by the Japanese government with a 1.1 billion yen (or PHP500 million) grant for shelter reconstruction, community mapping, and support in the forms of livelihood, community and development, infrastructure, and cultural and post-conflict.
“We hope to empower the IDPs to assert their rights and have a great future and provide opportunities for a brighter future," said Makoto Iyori, Minister for Economic Affairs of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.
The Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) also provided PHP248 million for land acquisition of the lots where the homes would be built.
The homes, targeted to be completed by March 2020, will be two storeys high and can accommodate up to about eight family members each. It would cost about PHP200,000 each, according to UN Habitat Architect Orwell Obach.
The lot where the houses will be built costs PHP205,000 each. The ground floor is 24 square meters, while the second floor is 18 square meters. The house which will stand on a 100 square meter lot has a kitchen and a bathroom, while the other rooms can be partitioned by the future occupant to form multiple rooms.
The houses' septic tanks will have three chambers, which will be connected to a leach bed, a form of infiltration system, where the bedrocks beneath the earth and the roots of plants and trees can filter the fluid from the tanks in order to neutralize possible contamination.
Obach also said that 800 houses will be built on Dulay Proper’s 13.3-hectare land, and 100 in Dulay West. Another five hectares is reserved to build open spaces such as roads and playgrounds.
SHFC is still looking for the remaining seven hectares needed to build the remaining 600 houses to meet the 1,500 mark, said UN Habitat project Manager Warren Ubongen.
Annicia Villafuerte, SHFC vice president of management services department, said in her speech that the IDPs can occupy the lands for 99 years. SHFC Strategic Communications Manager Lorie Bundoc also said that the occupants can opt to purchase the lot where their house will stand in order to acquire the land title of their house.
Ubongen said 21 land owners interested to sell their lots to SHFC have already submitted their titles, but that they are still verifying if the papers are legitimate for the security of land tenure and to avoid conflict in the ownership of the lands.
Priority IDPs to move to these houses will be families who could no longer return to their original homes in the most affected area of the city and those who originally lived about three to six meters easement of Lake Lanao and Agus River.
Families who did not have any land or house in the Lanao province, IDPs who are willing to return to Marawi and be UN Habitat’s partner, residents who have not received any other aid for permanent shelter, those who are living below the poverty threshold, and those from the vulnerable sectors will also be accommodated.
Task Force Bangon Marawi Field Office Manager Assistant Secretary Felix Castro Jr. said in his speech during the ceremony that skilled IDPs who can help in the construction of the homes would be employed as a form of cash for work.
In order to hasten the construction and implementation process, UN Habitat has organized 20 barangays into several homeowners associations, where one association is composed of 40 families, said Jomari Guillermo, UN Habitat Project Knowledge Management Junior Officer. (PNA)