Following the completion of the permanent housing project of the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) which was funded by the people of Japan, Mayor Majul Gandamra conveyed optimism that the permanent houses in the city will exceed in living out its basic purpose of being a mere shelter for internally displaced persons (IDPs).
“This house will not only serve as a roof for our displaced brothers and sisters but this will also serve as a safe haven to fix what has been broken caused by the darkest days of our city’s history,” he said.
Gandamra stressed that the city government had been eyeing the housing projects for impacted residents with the support of the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), and its implementing agencies and non-government organizations.
Lawyer Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling, president of the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), one of the land developers of the housing project, expressed his happiness that children would already have safe spaces to play and study who he hoped to grow to be good citizens who can contribute their skills to building a just, prosperous and peaceful society.
He stated that with the houses turned into homes, they were not rebuilding the city physically but also socially.
“I always believe that the best way to help Filipino families in the long term is to provide them homes in safe communities. This is particularly true for communities recovering from devastation like Marawi. There is physical and psychological security to begin from having a new home, especially after having a traumatic episode. It can also be the foundation for mending broken dreams and aspirations. I hope that the families will treasure their homes,” said Cabling.
TFBM Chairperson Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario remarked that the housing project was relevant to the major objectives of the rehabilitation program which are acting as a catalyst for growth and sustainable development, triggering good governance, and attaining a peaceful environment.
He emphasized that with the building of the new housing units, recipients will be charged with no cost as directed by the administration.
“There are no more gains [for houses built] because all these housing projects will be given to you for free as a total grant because that is the instruction of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Libre lahat ng facilities [All facilities will be free] so that you will have a very sustainable community,” said Del Rosario.
Seeing the newly formed homes for his constituents, Gandamra looked forward to the full recovery of his city.
“A project such as the comprehensive rehabilitation and reconstruction of a great part of the Islamic City of Marawi is not something that we could do overnight. While we think of it as very simple to achieve, it is actually very complicated. We may not be able to rebuild what Marawi was before the infamous siege but it is our joint commitment with our partners that we will rebuild a better Marawi,” he said.