The Philippine Army through the 55th Engineer Brigade (55Bde) inked a project partnership agreement with 12 homeowners associations (HOA) in Marawi for the site development and construction of 50 permanent shelter units in Barangay Kilala, Marawi City.
The agreement was formalized through a ceremonial signing on July 23, 2020, in Brgy. Kilala between LtGen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Western Mindanao Command; 55th Engineer Bde Commander BGen. Nestor Abando; and Janodin Lao, President of the An Nusrat HOA, Inc.
Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra, Task Force Bangon Marawi Field Office Manager Asec. Felix Castro Jr., UN-Habitat Project Manager Warren Ubongen, 1st Infantry Division Commander MGen. Generoso Ponio, 103rd Brigade Commander Col. Jose Maria Cuerpo II, National Housing Authority Project Management Office Manager Engr. Clemente Dayot; Minister Eduard Guerra of the Bangsamoro Government Ministry of Public Works, and Marawi Sultanate League Chairperson Sultan Nasser Sampaco.
In his message, LtGen. Sobejana gave an assurance that the Armed Forces of the Philippines will continue to help Marawi City, the province of Lanao del Sur and the Bangsamoro government.
He also underscored the importance of convergence efforts in the delivery of services to the public.
“We have to do things following the whole-of-nation approach. It does not limit only to those people in the government but also the people in the community. We should help each other,” LtGen. Sobejana added.
Lao, on the other hand, expressed gratitude to all the agencies involved in realizing the project.
“Ang okasyon na ito ay napakahalaga sa aming mga IDPs, lalong lalo na sa 12 HOAs. Ang partnership na ito ay isang hakbang para makamit namin ang matagal na naming hinihintay – ang permanenting bahay,” (This occasion is very important to us IDPs, especially to the 12 HOAs. This partnership is a step closer towards achieving our long-awaited permanent homes.) he said.
The construction of permanent shelter units is funded by the Government of Japan through the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) under the project “Rebuilding Marawi through Community-Driven Shelter and Livelihood Support.”
“In March 2018, we signed an agreement with the Japan Government to help in the rebuilding of Marawi. The overall goal is not just to help in the rebuilding but to contribute to the peacebuilding process in Mindanao. The project involves not only the construction of permanent shelter units but also livelihood and community development,” Ubongen narrated.
He said a total of 1,500 permanent shelter units will be constructed under the first component of the project. 250 units will be built in Brgy. Kilala, another 250 units in Brgy. Gadongan, and the rest will be in Brgy. Dulay West and Dulay Proper.
“Construction of around 70 houses are on-going in Brgy. Kilala with two completed units while 25 houses are on-going in Brgy. Gadongan,” Ubongen further said.
According to him, they are targeting to complete at least 500 units by December, this year.
“We also partnered with HOLCIM to train the HOA members so that they will be hired during the construction. This will ensure that there will be economic activity while we are rebuilding,” he added.
Meanwhile, the livelihood component of the project is already making its significant contribution to restoring the economy of Marawi with 31 cooperatives engaging in various enterprises and businesses. Access to capital for individual/group income-generating projects is also being provided through the Islamic Micro-Finance System. (Apipa P. Bagumbaran, PIA-ICIC)