By Wilnard Bacelonia

MARAWI CITY, Feb 4 (PIA-ICCC) – Thousand of residents from Lanao del Sur and this city are expecting a huge economic improvement as the construction of its new road network begins.

This was after Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Chairperson and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda led today, Feb. 4, the groundbreaking ceremony of the Marawi Transcentral Road Contract Packages 1-B and 2 at the Lanao del Sur Provincial Capitol here.

According to Villar, the road project has a total of 9.56 kilometers and detailed engineering designs of 13 other road sections under Contract Package 3 with a total length of 20.8 kilometers funded by the Japanese Government.

“We will expand the roads from 4 meters to 7 meters, we will build drainage systems and ring roads. This master plan was created with the help of Japan International Coordinating Agency (JICA) which is really a big help to develop Marawi,” Villar said.

The official also assured that the initial project packages, which were targeted to be finished next year, will be closely monitored by DPWH. 

JICA has donated 2 billion yen (almost 1 billion pesos) worth of grants for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the war-torn city and the neighboring towns of Lanao del Sur.

The project is a part of the Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao (RNDP-CAAM) of JICA where the construction of the Contract Package 3 will be implemented after signing a loan agreement on Feb. 10, 2019.

“This road network will pave the way for improved mobility of people and for better access to goods and services. It also means making sure that Marawi City and the entire Lanao del Sur will not get left behind,” Ambassador Haneda said in his speech.

The Japanese envoy also shared that they also consider giving assistance to rebuild the Technical Education and Skills Development Administration (TESDA) Training Center in Marawi City.

Permanent houses for selected MAA residents for free

After the ceremony, Ambassador Haneda attended another groundbreaking ceremony at Barangay Dulay Proper, Marawi City where the first batch of permanent shelters for the displaced residents from the 3-meter easement of Agus River and Lanao Lake.

The project, which aims to build 1,500 permanent houses, 10 community infrastructures with livelihood components for free, is also funded by the Japanese Government being implemented by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) in partnership with TFBM and Marawi City Government.

It targets the displaced residents from the three-meter easement of Agus River and Lanao Lake who will no longer be allowed to return to their original homes in accordance with the Article 1 of Presidential Decree No. 1067 or The Water Code of the Philippines, the Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and other less fortunate families.

UN Habitat, along with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), SHFC and local officials have completed the identification of the 1,500 home partners and continuously conducting orientation and organization of homeowners associations.

Meanwhile, Secretary del Rosario expressed how thankful TFBM and the Philippine Government on Japan’s efforts for Marawi.

“We are very grateful to the Japanese Government. This is really a big help for the development and the rehabilitation of Marawi City,” del Rosario said. (WLB/PIA-ICCC)