Marawi displaced-returnees with empty hand to repair their homes

Abdul Hannan
Magarang Tago

I missed my weekly piece for the last two weeks not because of lack of interesting issue, but I was merely busy fixing my residence at the most affected area (MAA) in Tolali, Marawi City.

Like any victim of the popular Marawi Siege in 2017, the situation is totally different when I was still in Saudi Arabia as OFW from 1992-2016.

We’re almost back to zero despite the fact that my home is still intact. And to repair a luxury vehicle is almost the same with purchasing a simple model.

Yes, looting took place before and after the liberation. We have seen some incidents during the clearing operation by our troops trying to open doors by force and that what exactly happened to all my doors including the main gate.

Our main gate unique design was originally from Saudi Arabia. We brought with us decoration from there and the whole work was done here in Cagayan De Oro City.

Now, not only my doors were broken by force the other side of my expensive gate was gone and the only option is to order — under financial constraints — a new local design main gate. A total of 14 doors and a main gate need replacement and total repair.

Many IDPs are now living in Sagongsongan Shelters and getting assistance from the government. Some others opted to live somewhere or what they termed home-based IDPs. They do get assistance but in our case, we have been living in the capital as renter.

May be for the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) we don’t deserve to have shelter too like many IDPs. That was the direct answer to me by TFBM head, Secretary, Eduardo Del Rosario when I requested one for my family.

“Titira ka ba doon?,” (Are you going to live there?), the official told me.

This clear denial statement indicates that; first the housing is not up to my expectation or to give priority to those IDPs loyal to the local government unit (LGU) for the political gain.

Now we are allowed to return to our district within the MAA with empty hand, nothing from the government or the TFBM any financial assistance for the returnees to start with — may be to repair at least the stolen doors and main gates.

Instead we underwent all LGUs strict requirements not free. We have to pay almost every paper.

Thanks to the quick response of Lasureco (Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative) to provide electricity power. We did also submit all requirements including the occupancy permit again from the LGU. 

How about the water system.

Before, we did have water pump in my residence to generate water. The expensive water pump did not spare from the looting.

With all promises and the budget being released according to a source, there is no any water project so far in the area.

As such, we have to make our own while people in Sagongsongan enjoy free electricity as far I know, and water being provided by TFBM.

How about the road that we expected to see before returning.

Then TFBM head needs our support for his confirmation by CA and with all these legal reasons and the very slow move in the rehabilitation, IDPs would not show sympathy. ABDUL HANNAN MAGARANG TAGO

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