By Wilnard Bacelonia

MARAWI CITY, Jan. 16 (PIA-ICCC) – Hundreds of Marawi displaced families from the different evacuation centers in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur have transferred on Wednesday, Jan. 16, to the newly opened Boganga Transitory Site.

The family of Alaisa Ayonan, 38, a mother to 10 children, is one of the first batch of displaced families from Mahad Abdelaziz Evacuation Center, West Poblacion, Balo-i, Lanao del Norte to transfer there.

“My 10th child was even born here. We are very thankful that our lives will be better at the temporary shelter,” Alaisa said before her family was transported by the Marawi City Government to Boganga Transitory Site.

Ayonan family getting ready for transfer to Boganga Transitory Site infront of their old home at Mahad Abdulaziz Evacuation Center in Balo-i, Lanao del Norte (Photo by Lady Jean Kabagani PIA/ICCC)

A total of 20 displaced families were transferred from Mahad Abdulaziz Evacuation Center to Boganga.

DSWD has six recognized evacuation centers in Lanao del Norte and one in Lanao del Sur, catering to 812 displaced families after the Marawi siege.

The Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) initially opened 550 out of 1500 temporary shelters at Boganga, which will all be opened this year.

TFBM Field Office Manager and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Assistant Secretary Felix Castro Jr. said that “the project is still on-track.”

“We opened 550 units to close all evacuation centers in Lanao del Norte. Slowly, we will also close the evacuation centers in Lanao del Sur. Boganga will eventually have 1,500 units of temporary shelters and we have only recorded 812 families from the different evacuation centers in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur. So, we can still cater to home-based IDPs,” Castro assured.

Asec. Castro witnessing Marawi Evacuees’ transfer to Boganga Transitory Site (Photo by Lady Jean Kabagani PIA/ICCC)

He also explained that compared to evacuation centers, temporary shelters in Boganga have rooms, toilets and sinks with faucets, water and electric supply, and the IDPs can have their privacy and safety.

“Their water and electric supply will be free for six months. We will also put up a police outpost and a health center. There is also a public school nearby so the children can continue their studies,” Castro added.

Meanwhile, Alaisa and her family thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for providing them a more comfortable home and environment while the rehabilitation of their permanent houses is still ongoing.

“We are happy because the president has helped us. I hope that this is the start of a better life for us. I hope that we will be safer here,” Alaisa said.

Ayonan family finding their new home (Photo by Lady Jean Kabagani PIA/ICCC)

After receiving the key to their new home, the Marawi City Health Office gave each household toiletries and will be receiving another relief assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Health in a formal turnover ceremony to be attended by TFBM chairperson and HUDCC Secretary Eduardo del Rosario.(WILBacelonia/PIA-ICCC)