BARMM gov’t turns over housing units to displaced families in Maguindanao del Sur

COTABATO CITY (PIA) — The Bangsamoro government, through the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD), has taken a significant step in providing long-term support to families who have lost their homes due to armed conflicts.

Earlier last month, the MSSD-BARMM, through its BAHAY Program, turned over a total of 74 housing units to homeless families in the Municipality of Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur.

The recipients belong to indigenous and conflict-affected sectors who have been living with their relatives and kin for several years.

MSSD Minister Raissa Jajurie, who led the distribution of land ownership certificates, described the beneficiaries as vulnerable homeless families in the said town.

“This housing project of the Bangsamoro government is for the families affected by recurrent displacement. While we try to work on the security concerns with the active participation of the local government units, we also need to address the welfare of those who are internally displaced by armed conflict,” Jajurie said.

Jajurie emphasized that the Bangsamoro government, with the help of different stakeholders, wishes to provide not just houses but also a community that can thrive independently.

“We will work with the LGU, government agencies, and other partners for the installation of electricity and water systems, the building of a child development center, the construction of roads leading to the area, and the provision of livelihood opportunities for the families to make the place habitable,” she pointed out

Each housing unit amounts to P500,000 for a total project cost of P37 million. Each unit has two bedrooms, a standard living room, a comfort room, and indoor and outdoor kitchen lavatories.

Norhaya Alim, one of the recipients of the housing units, expressed her gratitude to the government for taking her out of homelessness.

“Masaya kay sa wakas may sarili na kaming bahay. Tapos, tahimik na ang buhay kasi hindi na kami makikitira,” she said. 

(I am happy that, at last, we are now able to own a house. Our lives are now more peaceful.)

According to Alim, they have been living temporarily with their relatives for 20 years.

“Dalawampung taon na po kaming walang sariling bahay at nakikitira lang, kaya malaking tulong po talaga ito para sa amin ng pamilya ko, maraming salamat po talaga,” she added. 

(We’ve been living with relatives for 20 years because we didn’t have a house of our own. That’s why it’s really a great help for our family. Thank you so much!)

Moreover, Yusoph Pilas, engineering section head of the MSSD-BARMM, said additional houses are also being built in the towns of Datu Hoffer Ampatuan and Datu Saudi Ampatuan, both in Maguindanao del Sur.

“Moving forward, there are also 100 housing units in the municipalities of Datu Hoffer and Datu Saudi Ampatuan currently under construction that are set to be turned over in the coming months,” he said. 

The BAHAY Program of BARMM serves as a long-term intervention to provide a solution to the problem among indigenous and indigent families affected by recurring calamities and armed conflict. (LTB – PIA Cotabato City)

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