Evacuees to spend Christmas in ‘transitional shelters’


Evacuees displaced by military operations against terror group Maute in Marawi City are likely to be transferred to transitional shelters before Christmas, an Office of Civil Defense (OCD) official said on Monday.

Assistant Secretary Kristoffer Purisima of the OCD noted that the evacuees would be transferred if a significant number of transitional shelters were built, possibly before year-end.

The government has allotted 14 hectares of land for 1,500 transitional shelters.

“Once an area has been finished, we can transfer the IDPs [internally displaced persons]there. Definitely, it’s possible that the first portion [of the transitional shelter site]will be done before Christmas,” Purisima said.

“The flooring of the transitional shelters is made of cement, so the curing of the flooring is ongoing. The NHA [National Housing Authority] is on target. Their target date of construction of transitional shelters was September 8, and the construction started on September 8,” he added.

Around 1,500 to 2,000 families have signified intention to avail of the transitional shelters.

Each transitional shelter measures 22 square meters and could accommodate a family.

“We are still looking for additional transitional shelter sites for the 500 families [who also want to be transferred to such shelters]. If more families would want to avail of them, then we will adjust to accommodate them,” Purisima said.

He, however, conceded that the permanent housing program for the affected Marawi residents is yet to be constructed pending the conduct of Post Conflict Needs Assessment (PCNA) by authorities.

“We are going to build a permanent shelters, and I have mentioned before that we are going to build condo-type buildings in Marawi to accommodate local government employees and other employees who want to avail of that type of housing. But these are all based on PCNA,” Purisima said.

The government is also studying the possibility of granting compensation to Marawi residents whose houses need repairs.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law and ordered warrantless arrests in Mindanao last May 23 to suppress a rebellion led by the Maute Group.

Congress extended his declaration of martial law until the end of the year during a joint session of Congress last July.


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