Residents are not prohibited to enter Marawi City’s most affected area (MAA), provided that they comply with the government’s rebuilding permit and repair requirements, said Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) chairman and housing czar Secretary Eduardo del Rosario on October 23, 2020.
“Actually, as early as July 2019, we have opened already the most affected area for residents to go inside,” del Rosario said during the Bangon Marawi virtual presser.
However, del Rosario added that before the residents can enter the most devastated area to renovate and reconstruct their houses, they have to apply for a rebuilding permit from the Office of the Building Official (OBO) of the city government.
“It is a very important step being undertaken by the Task Force Bangon Marawi because you could not allow the displaced families in the most affected area without water, without electricity and without shelter to speak of,” del Rosario said.
Once residents get the permits from the Marawi city government, he said they would be allowed to repair or construct their respective houses inside the MAA.
“There is no provision, all they have to do is to follow the process and this process is open as early as July of last year. We are not prohibiting the return in the area as long as they will undergo the process,” he added.
Del Rosario said there are more than 800 displaced families who are now rebuilding their houses inside the MAA.
He said about 62 families have completed their construction and were already given an occupancy permit by the city government.
“There is no provision. All they have to do is follow the process set by the LGU and the TFBM. Once they intend to go back, they [should] apply for building permits—once granted, they can go back there anytime and start the reconstruction of their respective houses,” del Rosario said.
Del Rosario added that more than 2,000 owners of the private structures or 30-percent out of the 6,400 total structures—situated in Marawi’s MAA, have applied for rebuilding permit and have completed the required documents.
“Likewise, let us also consider that we are building 3,500 permanent housing units and that corresponds to 3,500 families. Maybe their houses are included in the 6,400 inventory before the siege,” said del Rosario.
Meanwhile, Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra said more than 1,800 displaced families who have applied for the building permit with complete documents are still undergoing evaluation and assessment.
Gandamra said the city government has already approved more permit applications. However, the residents have not yet started their house renovation due to some factors.
“Most probably, it’s depending on the capacity of the residents to start the construction. We have to understand also, with the total destruction of the MAA, our constituents are really in devastating situation in terms of financial and property loss,” he said.
Gandamra appealed to Congress to fast-track the passage of the Marawi Compensation Bill which would actually help the affected residents to rebuild their houses.
The TFBM was created under Administrative Order No. 3 issued by President Duterte on June 28, 2017, to ensure collaboration and convergence among national agencies and the local government units. TFBM facilitates the rehabilitation, recovery, and reconstruction efforts in Marawi.
It also helps displaced families recover from the destruction brought by the Marawi siege in May 2017. (PNA)