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Informal settlers, unpaid dues delay gov't housing projects in Marawi

The government’s permanent housing projects in Marawi City, seized by Maute terrorists for five months six years ago, are marred by delays, occupation by informal settlers, and unpaid lot dues, among others, Task Force Bangon Marawi field office manager Felix Castro, Jr. said Monday.

Castro, who also serves as the assistant secretary of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, made the disclosure during the briefing before the Ad Hoc Committee on Marawi Rehabilitation and Victims Compensation in the House of Representatives.

He said that informal settlers have been occupying two National Housing Authority projects namely: Pamayandeg Ranaw Residences Phase 1 and 2 in Brgy. Kilala and  Pamayandeg Ranaw Residences Phase 3 and 4 in Brgy. Gadongan.

The Pamayandeg Ranaw Residences Phase 1 and 2 in Brgy. Kilala, expected to be completed this month, only reached a 74.88% accomplishment rate in terms of land development worth P315 million and posted a 79.88% accomplishment rate in housing construction worth P450 million.

The Pamayandeg Ranaw Residences Phase 3 and 4 in Brgy. Gadongan, on the other hand, is also expected to be completed this month with its P315 million worth land development accomplishment rate now at 93.18% and P450 million worth housing construction accomplishment rate at 80.01%.

“These two projects have the same problems. There are units occupied by informal settlers. The NHA already issued a notice to vacate, and the LGU (local government unit of Marawi) was informed of this concern," Castro said.

“We are encouraging the LGU that the finished units be immediately turned over to selected beneficiaries so that informal settlers won’t get in the way,” he added.

The Marawi City government, Castro said, has also been tasked to secure the completed units.

The case of the Marawi Shelter Project Phase 3 (Norsalam Village) in Brgy. Patani, however, was worse since the project construction was stopped due to the failure of the state-run Social Housing and Finance Corporation (SHFC) to pay lot dues to the private landowner.

“This was ordered stopped by the landowner because the SHFC is yet to pay lot dues, and the SHFC is waiting for the Department of Budget and Management's action in their letter dated July 18, 2023 on the utilization of remaining fund to pay the landowner in the Brgy. Patani housing project,” Castro pointed out.

Back in May 2021, then presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the rehabilitation of Marawi City, devastated during the 2017 battle between government forces and the Maute terrorist group, will be finished within the term of then President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte’s term expired more than a year ago on June 30, 2022.

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said in May 2023 that his administration will continue rebuilding Marawi City.—AOL, GMA Integrated News