MANILA— The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) on Monday assured that only “standard materials” would be used in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi City following reports that fake cement has allegedly been smuggled into the country.
The assurance was made by OCD Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima during a Palace briefing, saying that all materials to be used in the reconstruction process would undergo a strict and transparent verifying process from Task Force Bangon Marawi.
“Dahil siyempre ayaw nating malusutan tayo ng substandard na mga materyales at i-e-ensure natin na lahat ng gagamitin dito ay above standard. At gagawin natin ang lahat para ma-verify na walang mangyayaring ganyan (We will ensure that all materials to be used are above standard and they can’t fool us with substandard materials. We will do everything to verify that it won’t happen)” Purisima said.
He said that all subcommittees of the Task Force, including the subcommittee on housing, have been fully alerted to the issue of substandard materials, including fake cement.
The OCD official likewise pointed out that one of the main responsibilities of the National Emergency Operation Center based in Iligan City is to ensure that all goods and services, as well as supplies that enter Marawi, is properly verified and according to specifications.
“Gagawin natin ang lahat para hindi tayo malusutan. At makakaasa kayo na palaging nag-uusap ang inyong Task Force, ang mga miyembro ng inyong Task Force, upang lahat kami ay on the same page. Para alam naming ang lahat ng gagamitin, ang lahat ng specifications at lahat ng ito ay naaayon sa ating standards at proper procedures ang gagawin natin (We will do everything so they can’t deceive us. You can be sure that the Task Force and its members are on the same page. So that we will know all material that will be used, its specifications and that they conform to standards and proper procedures),” Purisima said.
“And we will be very transparent. ‘Yan ho ang mapapangako natin, na magiging transparent ho tayo (that we can promise, we will be transparent),” he added.
In the meantime, the OCD said that site development of the transitional housing site in Barangay Sagonsongan in Marawi City is ongoing.
Purisima said that four hectares out of the 11 hectares identified as transitional housing sites will have been developed by the Department of Public Works and Highways by September 8 or September 9.
These would be eventually turned over to National Housing Authority for the construction of transitional shelters.
He said Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative Inc. has energized the initial transitional shelter site while the Local Water Utilities Administration is considering tapping the Agus River for the water supply.
However, the OCD official said occupancy of the transitional housing sites will depend on the speed of construction.
“The construction of transitional shelters will start on September 8. That is on target sa ating initial assessment at depende sa kaya nilang itayo na transitional shelters. Dahil modularnaman itong ating transitional shelters, madali lang naman ‘tong itayo,” Purisima said.
He added that an additional six hectares have been available for transitional shelter sites bringing the total area to 17.