By Wilnard Bacelonia

Marawi City, Dec 10 (PIA-ICCC) — The newly created Committee on Disaster Management through its Subcommittee on Marawi Rehabilitation is set to discuss its recommendations and observations in the Lower House of Representatives after visiting the war-torn city today.

The team led by Committee on Disaster Management Chairperson and Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman conducted an ocular inspection on Marawi’s Most Affected Areas (MAA) — Buganga Transitory Site, which is still under construction, and the 39-hectare Permanent Housing Site in Barangay Kilala to be funded by the San Miguel Foundation.

Roman was joined by Subcommittee on Marawi Rehabilitation chairperson and Anak Mindanao Party-list Rep. Makmod Mending, Jr., with the subpanel members, namely: Antipolo City 1st District Rep. Chiqui Roa-Puno; Biñan Lone District Rep. Marlyn Alonte; Zamboanga Sibugay 2nd District Rep. Ann Hofer; ABONO Party-list Rep. Vini Ortega; Misamis Oriental 2nd District Rep. Juliette Uy; Bukidnon 1st District Rep. Ma. Lourdes Acosta-Alba; Lanao del Sur 1st District Rep. Ansaruddin Adiong; Lanao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Mauyag Papandayan; Iligan City Lone District Rep. Frederick Siao; and Anak Mindanao Party-List Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan.

House Committee on Disaster Management Chairperson and Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman, Anak Mindanao party-list Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan and Iligan Lone District Rep. Frederick Siao being briefed by Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra during their visit at Barangay Kilala Permanent Housing Site. (Photo by Wilnard Bacelonia)

The solons were accompanied by Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra, Lanao del Sur Vice Governor Mamintal “Bombit” Adiong, National Housing Authority (NHA) Director Roderick Ibañez and Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Field Office Manager, Asec. Felix Castro.

Roman said the main objective of the Committee on Disaster Management is to see if the different government agencies belonging to Task Force Bangon Marawi are delivering their promises.

“We want the people of Marawi to feel that the government is fulfilling its duty and its promises. Consider this as a “friendly tap on the shoulder’. This is part of our oversight functions,” Roman said.

In a matter of two weeks, Roman’s committee was able to help NHA and TFBM to fast-track the purchase of land in Barangay Kilala to immediately start the construction of permanent houses for the Marawi IDPs.

The committee is now also working with NHA and TFBM to address other problems on the ongoing debris clearing inside MAA.

The solons will also meet with Marawi IDPs this afternoon to personally ask about their situation and know their concerns.

“We also want to ask the residents of Marawi about their situation especially the children. Later, we will have our own assessment to see how things are and we will make sure that they will not be neglected,” Antipolo City 1st District Rep. Chiqui Roa-Puno said.

From the solons’ visit in Marawi City, the panel members will conduct a meeting before proceeding into a session on Wednesday after summing up all their findings.

On House Committee on Disaster Management’s first hearing last month, House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo suggested tackling the Marawi response as the first agenda and made it clear that she wants the Committee to start by focusing on its function as an oversight of what is already being done on the Marawi rehabilitation.

“Because the reality is at this late stage, it is very difficult to expect new legislation to happen. So at this point in time in our congressional calendar, it’s time for us to start focusing on our oversight functions and maybe the no. 1 oversight function that we need to undertake in this committee is the oversight of Marawi rehabilitation,” Arroyo said.

Consolidation of Marawi Compensation Bills

Roman also shared that the three Marawi Compensation Bills filed in the Lower House are now being heard on the Committee on Disaster Management and waiting for the clearance from the Committee on Appropriations.

“Given the time that is left for the 17th Congress and we are about to approve already the 2019 budget, I’m not so sure how much we can deliver. At least, our objective is to create the agency or the board and the legal matters that we have to deal with,” the solon explained.

The House Committee on Disaster Management is done discussing with House Bill 8200 authored by Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin and waiting for the Committee on Appropriations to send them House Bill 7711 filed by Lanao del Sur 1st District Rep. Ansaruddin Adiong and House Bill 8099 by Lanao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Mauyag Papandayan Jr. (WLBacelonia/PIA/ICCC)