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Some 600 temporary shelters for Marawi IDPs ready by December, HUDCC Chair says

By the end of December, about 600 temporary shelters will be ready for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Marawi City.
Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairman Eduardo del Rosario made the announcement during his ocular site inspection of the Transitional Shelters Area at Barangay Sagonsongan, Marawi City.
He disclosed that every month around 100-200 housing units will be constructed.
"1,175 ang target. Every month magkakaroon ng 100-200 housing units na macocomplete," said Del Rosario. [The target is 1,175. Every month 100-200 housing units will be completed].
Each transitional shelter measures 22 square meters with kitchen and sink and a toilet.
Common facilities include madrasahs (Islamic religious schools), wet and dry market, health facilities, barangay tanod outpost and even a transport terminal. There will also be basic services like water facilities and electricity.
Del Rosario also explained that good quality and durable materials are being used for the construction of the housing units.
"It is made of steel panel; it is earthquake resistant na ibig sabihin ay kahit may earthquake hindi matutumba [which means, when there is earthquake, it will not collapse]," he said.
According to Del Rosario, those who no longer have houses to return to will be prioritized to occupy the transitional shelters.
He added that the construction of permanent shelters will begin in a few months’ time.
"We have to be sure na ang lote na gagamitin ay safe [that the lot to be used is safe], hindi [not] very risky for flooding, risky for earthquake; that it is included in the comprehensive land use plan of the city," said Del Rosario.
Del Rosario also shared that close coordination with the local officials of Marawi is being maintained to ensure that the plans initiated are culturally sensitive.
"The government, as instructed by the President, ensures na pag sila ay lumipat [that when they return], they can say na comfortable sila sa kanilang lilipatan [that they will feel comfortable to where they will be transferred]," Del Rosario concluded. (LEAntonio/PIA)

Liberation of Marawi marks beginning of rehab

Following the day after the top terrorist leaders of Marawi siege, Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute were killed in a military assault, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRRD), declared the liberation of Marawi from the control of terrorists.
“I hereby declare Marawi city liberated from the terrorist influence… that marks the beginning of rehabilitation,” said Duterte.
The president also commended the valor of the troops as they braved the dangers posed by gun fires and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in fighting against the terrorists and in rescuing hostages.
Symbolizing the achievement of victory against the terrorists, the President led the raising of the Philippine flag held at the Jamiatul Philippine Al-Islamia campus, located at the main battle area.
Ending of crisis
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Eduardo Año said in a press conference on Monday that “the Marawi crisis will be over–sooner than later. The resistance of–or what is left of it— the terrorists will crumble.”
Meanwhile, Col. Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Joint Task Force Ranao, said that the death of terrorist leaders led to the declaration of Marawi's liberation as they are the “center of gravity, they are the ones who are binding Maute-ISIS together.”
“It [the declaration] is a strategic message to tell the world na tapos na itong problema sa Maute-ISIS [that the problem with Maute-ISIS is over], na they cannot be victorious anymore. Patapos na po [This is about to end.],” said Brawner.
Beginning of rehabilitation
Brawner also asked the residents of the Marawi City to be patient as clearing operations of the area are being conducted.
“We will rescue remaining hostages and make sure na wala ng stragglers na naiiwan at mga IEDs [that there will be no longer stragglers and IEDs in the area].. tuloy na pa tayo [we are ready for] sa next phase which is the rehabilitation,” Brawner said.
Brawner also shared that the cleanup drive ‘Brigada Marawi’ has began last week.
The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams will also check and remove remained IEDs.
Meanwhile, Post Conflict Needs Assessment (PCNA) teams composed of various national and local government agencies had begun their assessment on the damages in 24 barangays in Marawi City.
The results of the data analysis, consolidation, and report development of the assessment is to be completed before October ends.(LEAntonio/PIA)

Heavy equipment from China turned over to DPWH to fast track Marawi recovery

Forty-seven sets of heavy equipment from the People’s Republic of China through its Emergency Humanitarian Assistance Program were turned over to the Department of Public Works and Highways 10 (DPWH-10) which will be utilized for the rehabilitation phase of Marawi City.
Shipped from the Port of Shanghai to Iligan Port, the heavy equipment include eight excavators, eight wheel loaders, five compactors, five track type tractors, five bulldozers, eight dump trucks, eight cement mixers and a unit of container van.
The heavy equipment will be used for the construction of transitional shelters particularly in Barangay Sagonsongan for internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Marawi.
DPWH-10 District Engineer Rey Peter Gille and Office of Civil Defense-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OCD-ARMM) Regional Director Reylindo Aniñon inspected the heavy equipment.
Gille said that the heavy equipment are “very important in fast tracking the operations in the recovery and rehabilitation phase of Marawi City currently being undertaken.”
Being the lead agency for the Reconstruction Committee of the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) and member of Housing Sub-committee, DPWH has already completed the site development for Areas 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 in Barangay Sagonsongan. Road concreting is still ongoing and estimated to be completed by the end of November, this year.
Furthermore, DPWH continues to provide assistance to the evacuation centers through the improvement of roadways, installation of water supply system, latrines, communal kitchens and other related matters. (LEAntonio/PIA)

Bahay Pag-asa Project launched for Marawi displaced families

To provide immediate shelter and accommodation to the families affected by the Marawi siege, Bahay Pag-asa (Home of Hope) was launched in Barangay Bito Buadi Itowa, Marawi City.
With the collaborative efforts of the Tarlac Heritage Foundation, Chinese Filipino Business Club, Inc. and the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army, a total of 50 nipa huts were constructed in a 1.2 hectare land.
Attaching rain-catching systems for water supply and solar panels for electricity, the 8x8 ft. houses were built using bamboos, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and nipa palm.
A total of 30 comforts rooms, 30 bathrooms, 10 sinks and 10 cooking facilities were also built.
Dubbed as Hardin ng Lunas (Garden of Cure), a vegetable garden was constructed where different crops were planted. Giant bamboos were also planted along the vicinity.
A customized model was also built to show to the beneficiaries that they could beautify the basic nipa hut.
According to Major Rodolf John dela Cruz of Judge Advocate General Service, Joint Task Force Marawi, the main beneficiaries of the project are those owners of houses situated at the main battle area.
Meanwhile, the Task Force Bangon Marawi currently works for the transitional shelters in Barangay Sagonsongan, Marawi City, which will be ready for occupancy by December.(LEAntonio/PIA)

Finding love amid crisis

As the government troops continue to fight against the Maute-ISIS terror group in Marawi City, a love between two lovers sparked at the Tent City in Pantar town, Lanao del Norte where 109 displaced families are situated.

Proving that true love conquers all amid crisis and conflict, Norinsa Basher, 22 and Jomar Saumay, 19, exchanged vows in a simple yet blissful wedding ceremony.

The groom worked as a tricycle driver while the bride managed a store in Marawi City.

Having known each other for years, the couple had crushes toward each other.

Their feelings was further boosted as they see each other frequently at the Tent City.

When asked about why he fell in love with Nornisa, Jomar narrated that it was because of her beauty and kindness.

Similarly, Nornisa shared that it was Jomar’s compassion that made her to fell in love with him.

"Tinutulungan niya ako sa mga ginagawa ko dito sa Tent City,” said Nornisa.
[He’s helping me in doing the household chores.]

Love waits, Love conquers

Resonating peace and bliss in the community, the cheers of their fellow evacuees and the sound of kulintang (a modern term for an ancient instrumental form of music composed on a row of small, horizontally laid gongs that function melodically, accompanied by larger, suspended gongs and drums) and gong reverberated at the wedding venue.

To solemnize the wedding, a marriage sermon was given by an imam and a recitation of the Qur’an was made.

While a ceremony is being conducted with the groom and bride’s parent, the bride wearing a long-sleeved white-laced gown, patiently awaits for her groom to fetch her inside her tent.

Nornisa shared that her siblings did not agree at first that she would be wedded with Jomar. However, as she fought for their love, her siblings eventually agreed.

Their love story proves that the ongoing crisis in Marawi cannot hinder their love toward each other as they both conquered the odds.

Initiatives for Love

The wedding of the couple will not be possible without the help of some generous people.
It was Acmad Amer, barangay chairman of Campong, Pantar, who began the initiatives for the wedding to be pursued.

“Nakita ko sa kanila ang sobra nilang pagmamahalan sa isa’t isa. Kaya gumawa ako ng paraan para sila ay makasal,” said Amer.

[I witnessed how they love each other. That is why I made initiatives for them to be wedded with each other.]

Amer also shared that some evacuees who were beneficiaries of cash for work program of the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWD), also lend a small contribution.

The Task Force Bangon Marawi, spearheaded by Undersecretary Cesar Yano of the Department of National Defense (DND), also sent their support to conduct the modest and joyful wedding ceremony.

“Nakakatuwa kasi kahit sa gitna ng kahirapan, na-develop pa rin ang pagmamahalan sa mga evacuees,” said Usec. Yano.

[It is great to hear that despite of difficulty and suffering, love has been developed between two evacuees.]

Usec. Yano also shared the essence of the wedding ceremony as it symbolizes that love is the center of all things. (LEAntonio/PIA))

DA opens more sites for Marawi IDPs veggie production project

The Department of Agriculture in Lanao del Sur  has opened four more vegetable production project sites for internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Marawi City.

The project is part of the early recovery interventions of the Department to ease the lives of displaced Marawi residents by giving them opportunities to generate income and address their need for nutritious foods.

It is being implemented in coordination with Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the municipal government of Saguiaran.

The additional sites are located in Barangay Sunggod (1.5 ha.), Barangay Bubong Punud (2.0 ha.), Barangay Panggao (1.0 ha.), and Barangay Bubong (.75 ha.), all in Saguiaran town.

Assorted lowland vegetable and Mungbean seeds were also distributed during the site inspection and briefing on nursery managament.

DA has earlier opened vegetable production sites in Brgy. Bito Buadi Itowa and Barangay Pantaon/Pantao Raya with 126 enlisted cooperators working over a communal 1.8 ha. area. (DA Lanao del Sur / PIA-10)

Lanao del Sur remains bird-flu free

The Department of Agriculture (DA) here has assured that Lanao del Sur remains free of Avian Influenza virus.

DA Lanao del Sur said quarantine stations in both the entry and exit points of the province – particularly Misamis Oriental and Maguindanao province, are instituting strict measures to restrict movements of infected birds and fowls. 

Apart from this, DA has instructed all Municipal Agricultural Officers (MAOs) to monitor their respective areas for early signs of the disease. 

The Livestock Extension force of the agency is also undertaking massive campaign on its prevention through farm sanitation and health management practices. (DA Lanao del Sur / PIA-10)