By Wilnard Bacelonia

MARAWI CITY, April 9 (PIA-ICCC) – Ten displaced homeowners from Barangay Sangkay Dansalan personally came here yesterday following an invitation by the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Inter-agency Committee on Debris Clearing headed by the National Housing Authority (NHA) to witness the demolition of their houses in accordance with existing laws and guidelines.

This came after the inter-agency body composed of the NHA, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP), Department of Health (DOH) and the local government unit of Marawi labeled their structures as non-habitable and, therefore, should be demolished.

One of the homeowners, Noranisa Calandada turned emotional while seeing their ancestral house being crushed to the ground by wheel excavators.

“It hurts because we inherited this from our parents who had sacrificed just to build us a home,” she shared.

However, Noranisa agreed to demolish their house because she sees it as a practical choice.

“The government recommended demolishing our house because it is non-habitable. Of course, we trust the government. We agreed because we can’t afford to have more problems in the future,” she said.

During the recent TFBM public consultation and dialogue, TFBM chairperson and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Secretary Eduardo del Rosario promised the Marawi IDPs to finish the debris clearing inside MAA in August this year and allow displaced residents to return and rebuild their homes on the first week of September.

“The repair of the least affected areas of MAA might even start as early as July and slowly, we’ll allow residents to go back to their homes” del Rosario assured.

The Marawi rehab czar also urged the displaced homeowners to give their consent for the Inter-agency Committee on Debris Clearing to demolish their houses to avail themselves of free government services. Otherwise, they will have to personally shoulder the demolition costs.

Displaced residents from MAA are not yet allowed to return to their homes because there are 49 unexploded bombs still being recovered by the debris-clearing contractor as assisted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (WLBacelonia/PIA-ICCC)