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House committee expects “very productive” visit to Marawi City next week

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By Charissa Luci-Atienza

The chairperson of the House Committee on Disaster Management has expressed hope that the group’s visit to Marawi City next week would help expedite the rehabilitation of the battle-scarred city.

Congresswoman Geraldine Roman (Federico Cruz / Manila Bulletin)

Congresswoman Geraldine Roman (Federico Cruz / Manila Bulletin)

“We just hope that this will be a very productive visit. This will open our eyes so that we can take further action and monitor the progress of the construction of the permanent houses and other aspects of the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the city of Marawi,” Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman said.

The ocular visit will be made on December 10 after former president and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo proposed that the resettlement area be visited by the panel members.

Aside from Roman, joining the ocular inspection are Reps. Ansaruddin Abdul Malik Adiong, Makmod Mending Jr., Ann Hofer, Cristina “Chiqui” Roa-Puno, Marlyn Alonte, Victoria Isabel Noel, Vini Nola Ortega, Mauyag “Jun” Papandayan Jr., and Frederick Siao.

During the panel meeting, some House members expressed their concern on the psychosocial effects of the war on the victims, and the condition of their relief distribution in the area.

This prodded Arroyo to request for a representative of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) during the scheduled inspection.

Roman said her panel has been coordinating with the army in Marawi about the security details of their visit.

Anak Mindanao partylist Rep. Makmod Mending, chairman of the House SubCommittee on Marawi Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, said they decided to personally oversee the rehabilitation of Marawi City by visiting the property where the 2,000 housing units will be constructed by the San Miguel Foundation.

“Our main agenda is to check the Alonto property where San Miguel is set to begin construction of permanent shelters, then visit MAA (most affected areas), Sagonsongan temporary shelters, then the old city hall for the proposed military camp,” he said in an interview.

During the second committee meeting of the Roman panel on the Marawi rehabilitation on November 26, Arroyo asked the National Housing Authority (NHA) to expedite the construction of the permanent housing in Marawi City.

Director Roderick Ibanez of NHA said that the acquisition of the 39-hectare property in Brgy. Mipantao, Gadongan; and Brgy. Kilala in MarawiCity for the permanent housing is still underway.

He said the memorandum of agreement (MOA) was due to be signed on or before November 30, but the actual payment will be tendered by December. He noted that the lots are owned by the Macarambon and Alonto families.

Ibanez said the permanent shelter construction of 2,000 housing units will be divided into four phases with a target of 500 houses to be built in each phase.

He said the construction of 500 houses will start this December and is expected to completed by June 2019.

The second phase is expected to be completed in December 2019, third phase in June 2020, and fourth phase in December 2020.

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