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Military engineers, DPWH start rebuilding Marawi

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), in partnership with key government agencies, has started the construction of temporary houses for the thousands of displaced families in Marawi City as part of the early recovery and rehabilitation process. This developed even as fighting has continued in the “battle zone” in the area. 

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said they are gradually shifting gear to help in the rehabilitation by pouring in more troops who will undertake rehabilitation works.

“Your soldiers are willing to risk their lives not only to make sure that Marawi City be free from terrorists, but also to speed up rehabilitation, so that shelters will be ready the soonest possible time,” Galvez said.

“Just as your AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) was employed as an instrument to quell the rebellion of the Maute-ISIS Group that caused the destruction of Marawi, you will also find your soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines at the forefront of the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi. The AFP shall be the catalyst to the massive efforts to revive the city of Marawi,” he added.

The Army’s 54th Engineer Brigade, Department of Public Works and Highways-10 (DPWH-10) and the Marawi City Engineer’s Office have started over the weekend the construction of two model houses before the construction of 5,000 temporary shelters for the Marawi evacuees.

Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay, Task Force Marawi spokesperson, said the ground works of the relocation site started a week ago.

DPWH-10 resident engineer Abdulracman Paunte said the models are expected to be done after a week of work.

“There are two models of houses to be constructed. First is the steel house which is has 26 square meters floor area with a dimension of 4 x 7.7 meters and the other one is the wooden house which is made of lumber and plywood, with the dimension of 4 x 6 meters,” Paunte said.

“The steel house model is pre-fabricated and can accommodate three families per building. Construction time will run up to eight days,” he added.

The 11-hectare relocation site is located in Barangay Sagongsongan, Marawi City and is divided into five areas.

One-thousand units of houses will be built in each area.

Paunte said each area has communal kitchens, comfort rooms and washing areas. The electrical lines and water pipes are already being installed by the Lanao Del Sur Electric Company and the Local Water Utilities Administration.

Lt. Col. Jonjie Juguilon of the 547th Engineering Battalion said they will not only construct the temporary shelters but also to secure civilian workers who are in the site the entire week.

“We are here to provide all necessary needs and support we can give before, during and after the construction of the shelters,” he said.

Juguilon said they conducted a consultation with the local government officials and evacuees to determine the designs of the houses.

To have a sense of ownership, Gulem said they are commissioning the evacuees as construction workers and laborers.

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