ILIGAN CITY ----- Twenty- displaced residents in Marawi City were given the chance on Friday, December 20, to go back to their barangay in Tolali to start reconstructing their houses which were destroyed during the five-month siege in 2017.
Tolali, one of the 24 barangays in the most affected area (MAA), is at sector 1.
Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra said they are first batch of the more than 400 families who were given the permit to start renovating their homes in Tolali alone.
The local government unit (LGU) of Marawi dubbed the activity as Kathagombalay or rebuilding.
Of that number, 18 families are renovating since their houses were only partially destroyed during the siege while the other two families are totally reconstructing after their houses were burned down.
"Currently, there are more than 400 residents applied for building permits and the first 20 were approved. Marami pa'ng mga applications dito for approval," Gandamra said.
Monitoring and checking
Moamer Usman Pantao-o, chairman of Barangay Tolali, said barangay officials are monitoring the families working for their houses while Army personnel are checking on the constructiom materials to be brought inside.
"Kahit ang mga sasakyan na lalabas, i-tsi-check pa rin ng Army," Pantao-o said.
The families are also required to submit list of names of their workers who went inside.
Housing Assistant Secretary Felix Castro, Field Office Manager of Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), the purpose of monitoring them is to avoid somebody to build in the area not owned by them.
"Ang purpose naman doon, to ensure na yung babalik, yung magpapatayo ng kanilang bahay sa kanilang lupa talaga sila magpapatayo. Kasi kung pagsasabay-sabayin natin doon, babalik tayo sa dati," Castro said referring to squatting of someone's property.
For Pantao-o, it was hard for them to be working in that way, being monitored when they are working in their own property but they will submit to what have been agreed and will follow the process.
"Gusto sana namin ay Kambalingan (means to go home) para bumalik na kami sa aming mga lugar, unti-unti naming aayusin ang mga bahay namin kasi hindi naman lahat may pera kaagad," Pantao-o said.
Gandamra said the Kathagombalay is a good development in as far as Marawi rehabilitation is concerned.
"Atleast malapit na tayo sa pagbabalik. Kailangan lang natin sundin ang mga itinakdang proseso," Gandamra said.
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