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Breaking The Habit

Marawi Residents to possibly return home by November

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. Finally, the people of Marawi have something to look forward to.

Residents of Marawi City’s Ground Zero, the most affected area (MAA) in the city’s siege two years ago, could return to their homes by November once the area is cleared.

Rhoderick Ibaňez, National Housing Authority (NHA) Marawi Project Management Office director, confirmed this. Ibaňez said that they targeted November to give ample time to clear the area of debris and explosives. This is to ensure the safety of residents as they return to their homes inside the MAA.

“Actually, kung kami (NHA) ang masusunod, by September pa lang, clear na lahat,” said Ibaňez.

He explained that all clearing activities are conducted in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the local government. 

Contractors working day and night

Meanwhile, NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr. said that contractors are working even at night to ensure that they stay on schedule.

Escalada explained that they are also building blast walls in the structures, as there is a possibility that some unexploded ordnance (UXO) might explode during clearing operations. He added that debris management should be completed before starting any other projects.

The NHA allotted ₱2.3 billion out of the ₱30.1 billion budget for debris management, which is crucial to the overall development of the area. 

Rehab projects slated for the city

Several rehabilitation projects are slated for Marawi, including construction of road networks, public schools, barangay halls, and police stations. Also included are convention centers, public markets, ports, and a slaughterhouse.

Escalada explained that while waiting for clearance, the other agencies that are part of the development plan are now doing planning and procurement. Once the MAA is cleared, actual construction can begin.

There have also been discussions that have talked of Marawi as a tourist destination after rehabilitation.

Mayor assures residents of rehabilitation of their homes

For his part, Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra assured residents that their homes will be simultaneously rebuilt with government projects.

“That is the reason why we allow them to visit their respective properties and for them to assess if their homes are still sound for habitation or for repair.” said Gandamra.

“If it is unsound, these will be recommended for demolition,” he admitted.

More than 50% cleared

The NHA Marawi Project Management Office reported 52.48% completion for clearing activities.

A total of 330 explosives have been recovered and disposed by the AFP-EOD as of July 31.

As of August 7, contractors have demolished 1,875 from 5,403 total structures inside Ground Zero. 2,805 structures of the total will be demolished.

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