One hundred nine internally displaced families now have homes to call their own as they received certificates of conditional award for permanent houses from UN-Habitat. The families received their certificates on February 25, 2021, during the Inauguration of Marawi Resettlement Site and Permanent Houses (Phase 1) in Brgy. Dulay West, Islamic City of Marawi.

(L-R) President Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling of the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), Secretary Eduardo del Rosario of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), Mayor Majul U. Gandamra of Marawi City, Country Programme Manager Christopher Rollo of UN-Habitat Philippines, Chairperson Sultan Nasser Sampaco of the Marawi Sultanate League, and Dr. Minalang Barapantao, Sr. Chief of Staff, Ministry of Human Settlement and Urban Development present the certificate of conditional award to Amer B. Samporna, President of the Dariday Datu Naga Homeowners Association.

 

The houses were built by UN-Habitat through the Rebuilding Marawi through Community-Driven Shelter and Livelihood Project with a USD 10-million funding from the Government of Japan. The houses are located on a 1.8 hectare land area provided by SHFC, the project partner for land acquisition and site development.

The families named their village, Hadiya which means “gift”. According to them, this place where they can rebuild their lives is indeed a gift.

Hadiya Village in SHFC Phase 1, Brgy. Dulay West

 

This new resettlement site hosts 109 families who were displaced as a result of the heavy fighting between pro-ISIS militants and government security forces in May 2017. These families, who are the project’s home-partners, are members of four Homeowners Associations (HOAs) who were organized and duly registered with the support of the project.

SHFC President Arnolfo Cabling expressed his hope for lasting peace, and his gratitude to the project partners and donors.

“We in SHFC hope that these new homes will help foster peace within the families who will now live there and hopefully this peace will radiate to the greater society. We know that post-conflict recovery takes time and has been complicated by this pandemic. We thank our partners and funders, especially the Government of Japan, for its continued commitment to the development of the Philippines, particularly to peace and housing rights in the country.”

 

UN-Habitat Country Programme Manager, Christopher Rollo highlighted the importance of partnership with the community in building the resettlement site.

“Now in the time of Covid-19, more than ever, a house becomes a matter of life and death. When everybody is encouraged to stay at home, wash hands regularly, and practice physical distancing, the houses we are inaugurating today make compliance to these basic guidelines possible. We are inspired by the homeowners associations and families who have patiently worked with us in this journey, together with our partners from national and local government, CSOs, and private sector. These houses are particularly special because they are designed with the families themselves who incorporated elements of the Maranao culture into the design. Our home partners were involved in the whole process from planning to actual construction, purchasing, quality control and monitoring. They will also be responsible for estate management as they make this community grow and prosper in peace.”

 

The two-story core house has a floor area of 42 square meters and built on a 100 square meter lot. Each unit has a toilet and bathroom, a kitchen, basic electrical lighting and outlets, water lines and a sewage piping system.

Abdul Rasad, one of the home-partners, expressed his relief that after the long wait, he now has a house he can call his own.

“Life continues to be difficult after the war and even more so in this Covid-19. The small fruit-selling business I had was affected by a fire that happened two months ago. My family is renting a small space which is too small for my family – my wife and our four teenage sons. Now that we have a place we can call our own, the PhP 2,000 monthly rent can now be spent for food, utensils and furniture for our new house, and other essential needs.”

 

Home-partners attend the inauguration

Rebuilding Marawi Project Manager Warren Ubongen meet with the community leaders. Photo by Cris Rollo.

 

UN-Habitat is simultaneously constructing permanent houses in four other construction sites. A total of 1,057 permanent houses are slated to be completed within the year.

 

See photos of the families in their permanent homes below.