DAVAO CITY, Philippines — In an effort to fast track the rehabilitation and construction of houses for the internally displaced persons in Marawi City, President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed Executive Order (EO) No. 49 on Monday, February 6, 2018.
The EO 49 is specific “Exempting the National Housing Authority from the National Economic and Development Authority Guidelines on Joint Venture Agreements to Expedite the Implementation of Recovery, Reconstruction, and Rehabilitation Projects in the Most Affected Areas of Marawi City.”
This means, all JVAs to be entered into by the NHA shall comply with guidelines which the NHA shall formulate and issue under the supervision of the HUDCC in consultation with the
NEDA, the Public-Private Partnership, and the Department of Budget and Management.
Simplifying the bureaucracy
The order elaborates the urgent need to rehabilitate the Marawi housing projects, this means the NHA will no longer go through the circuitous procedures of the NEDA which takes time. It is meant to simplify documentary requirements and procedures to hasten the rehabilitation program.
Marcelino P. Escalada Jr, NHA General Manager said the EO “Simplifies the procedure which will help fast track rehabilitation but transparency is ensured, technical aspects is well defined, guidelines and policies follow the legal procedure, sound financial management and above all, work quality is not sacrificed.”
Escalada described the EO “It is a tall and tough order, it means, the NHA now is the lead implementing agency to undertake the rehabilitation at ground zero.”
Responding to the IDP’s
The development and rehabilitation of ground zero should conform with the guidelines and should observe the cultural sensitivity of the Maranao’s, Escalada emphasized.
Balawag Norhain Datu, 54, window, resident of ground zero, prefers to stay at the Pantar evacuation center than at the Sagonsongan temporary shelter, saying her late parents wanted her to take care of the small property and hand the same to her children in the future “Kahit anong hitsura ng bahay, basta doon ako magtira, maghintay ako kahit kelan, basta don ipatayo ang bahay ko.”
(No matter what the house look like, as long as I live there, I am wiling to wait, as long as my house will be built there).
“Doon kasi isinilang ang mga magulang ko, hindi ko puede iiwan ang lugar namin, kahit nga zero na ang tawag ngayon.” (My parents were born there, I cannot leave the place, even if it is called the ground zero now).
Datu is just one of the thousands of IDPs whose houses were totally damaged during the Marawi Siege. Everyone at the evacuation center wants to be home. where their ancestors used to live.
There are now 650 active occupants in the village of Sagonsongan, the identified area for the temporary shelters.
Duterte ordered the NHA to finish the rehabilitation in three years, a reason why the EO was issued.
Escalada clarified “We are the implementing agency now, but we have to work it out with the local government of Marawi and coordinate with Task Force Bangoon Marawi.”
The NHA will construct 6,400 housing units in the 250 hectare land at ground zero.
“The order is tall, we work in a glass house, but we cannot afford to fail the people of Marawi longing to be home. In the same breath, we cannot afford to fail the President,” Escalada quipped. .-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph