Mindanao Times

Gov’t issues building permits as Marawi IDPs plea for return


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Some 200 building permits have already been issued from about a thousand building permit applicatio­ns from Marawi City residents displaced by the conflict between state forces and armed extremists in Marawi City in 2017.

This, as close to 400 residents have filed a class suit against government officials on Wednesday for the delay in the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected by the conflict in Marawi.

However, Roderick Ibañez, of the National Housing Authority, said the issues in the legal action are being addressed by the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TBFM).

In a briefing here last week, Ibañez said they have received more than a thousand building permit applicatio­ns from structure owners inside the “most affected area” (MAA) or “ground zero”.

He said some 200 building permits have already been issued while the rest are still on process, with certain delay as clearing of unexploded bombs in the area continues.

He said that only property owners who are in the Kathanor system and the social cartograph­y of the Department of Environmen­t

and Natural Resources will be granted the building permit.

In the same press briefing, Secretary Eduardo del Rosario of the Housing and Urban Developmen­t Coordinati­ng Council (HUDCC), also the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Chairperso­n, said those who can present proof of ownership will be given building permit to resolve

the overlappin­g claims on properties in Marawi.

Del Rosario added the constructi­on of new public infrastruc­ture in the most affected area (MAA) in Marawi City will start this December as the retrieval and disposal of unexploded bombs is nearing completion.

After the filing of the class suit Wednesday, Atty. Salic Dumarpa, chairman of Go Right Foundation Inc., said they filed the civil action directed to Secretary del Rosario and Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra, for “mandamus with prayer for writ of preliminar­y mandatory injunction” before the regional court in Marawi.

“We hope that it will be acted upon immediatel­y,” Dumarpa said, during a press conference here on Thursday (Dec. 5).

A mandamus is a judicial order to compel a person to perform government or statutory functions.

Dumarpa hopes the court will act on their legal action and order the government, through Del Rosario and Gandamra, “to facilitate the fast return of the IDPs to their respective homes in Marawi’s most affected area.

“We have more than sufficient evidence to convince the court that indeed it is about time that the government allows the immediate return of the IDPs,” Dumarpa said.

The petitioner­s said their “standard of living, work, business, livelihood and other sources of income have been seriously affected and many of their children have stopped schooling, this placing their future into uncertaint­y as a result of their present status as IDPs.”

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