COTABATO CITY—BARMM Government targets to turnover a total of 1,000 housing units for free to eligible recipients of the ‘costless’ shelter program by the end of 2023.
On Friday, Sept. 22, Director-General Esmael Ebrahim of the Ministry of Human Settlements and Development (MHSD) gladly announced the provision of housing units across the region as part of the Ministry’s ongoing Resettlement Housing Program.
The program aims to provide costless housing units with water systems, solar lights, access roads, and support services for resettlement which may include livelihood services from partner agencies.
“We are looking forward na by the end of the year, makaturn over tayo ng mga 1,000 units na pabahay in the whole region,” Ebrahim stated.
“Kasi marami naman tayong pabahay na 90%, 87%, 80% (ang progress). So ibig sabihin, before the end of the year, those 80 to 90% will be completed to 100%,” he added, expressing his optimism about the program’s advancement.
As of August 2023, the ministry has been on a building and turnover blitz where a total of 2,593 housing units were already approved, consisting of 257 completed units, 2,136 with ongoing construction, and 200 others that are yet to be started.
Among the program’s target beneficiaries include former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) combatants, the poorest of the poor, victims of calamity or conflict, indigenous people, and internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are identified and selected with the help of other partners such as local government units (LGUs).
Meanwhile, the Director-General also shared that the ministry strictly adheres to the guidelines for careful selection of recipients to ensure their strict compliance and promote fairness among them.
“We have made very stern guidelines na [..] we want to avoid that kind of idea na wala ka ngang bahay sa isang (target) area, pero meron naman sa ibang area. ‘Yon (bang) ang nakikita namin na, ‘you are, indeed, in need of a house.’ Kaya sila ang ating priorities na pagbibigyan,” he emphasized.
Ebrahim also mentioned that majority of the housing units were funded under the General Appropriations Act of the Bangsamoro (GAAB).
Additionally, the Special Development Fund (SDF), Marawi Rehabilitation Program (MRP), and Kapayapaan sa Pamayanan (KAPYANAN) also sponsored some of these units.
On the other hand, the Director-General highlighted that the establishment of MSHD’s provincial offices, along with regular coordination with the contractors and the LGUs, aided in expediting and overseeing the program.
Regarding its specific timeline, Ebrahim reassured that they will not cease in serving the Bangsamoro as part of the Government of the Day’s unwavering commitment.
“Hanggang nandyan ang BARMM, nandyan ang ating Chief Minister, kasi isa sa mga priority programs ay provision of free housing sa ating mga kapatid na Bangsamoro, kasi isa ito sa mga basic needs,” he stressed.
During the Housing and Human Settlements Forum last Aug. 31 at Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex (SKCC), BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, represented by Assistant Senior Minister Abdullah Cosain, also urged the Bangsamoro people to get actively engaged in shaping the future of the region.
CM Ebrahim underscored, “Let us continue to work towards the realization of our long-held aspiration of a peaceful, progressive, vibrant, and sustainable Bangsamoro. Let us create a better future for ourselves, our communities, and the generations to come.”
Aside from MHSD’s Resettlement and Housing Program, the Ministry will also launch its Housing Loan Program for BARMM Government employees within the current year.
In addition, MHSD has also started capacitating LGUs on the formulation of their respective Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUPs).
Investing in strategic infrastructure to spur economic growth is advocated under the Enhanced 12-Point Priority Agenda of BARMM CM Ebrahim. (Johamin Inok/BIO)