Gov't begins distribution of shelter, livelihood training to displaced Marawi residents

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 28) — The government has started to turn over transitory shelters to victims of the Marawi conflict.

On Wednesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque was in Lanao del Sur to announce the formal turn over.

A total of 1,170 transitory shelters will be constructed in Barangay Sagonsongan in Marawi City. 

As of Tuesday, there were 551 units completed, with water and electrical lines, and 500 of these units were available for turnover.

Apart from these houses, Roque said another 300 units would be transferred in Matungao, Lanao del Norte — around 28 kilometers away from Marawi City. The transfer of the units would be done by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

"This is just the beginning," Roque said, as more housing shelters will soon be built.

Over 360,000 people were displaced by the five-month-long conflict.

Other assistance, trade skills training given

Apart from houses, the government also provided training and livelihood assistance programs to Marawi evacuees.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said dressmaking, noodle and food processing, and other skills which can be used to create businesses have been taught to the internally displaced.

Aside from the trainings, Marawi entreprenuers were also given market access by DTI for their products through trade exhibits like the Bangon Marawi Product Store, which runs from September 25 to December 29, and the Noel Bazaar held on December 14 to 17.

Apart from these, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will set up rice mills, as well as gave out hauling trucks, 20 sets of electronic starter kits, 20 sets of carpentry tools and 35 sewing machines.

Lopez said the DTI is working on opening public markets, commissaries and stores around Marawi City.  It is also looking to put up an eco-zone for large manufacturing firms to generate local employment.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture has given seeds and fertilizer, as well as farming equipment to residents.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will provide 500 boats, as well as gill nets and ₱2,500 cash to beneficiaries.

In addition, BFAR National Director Eduardo Gongona said they launched the "Balik Sigla ng mga Ilog at Lawa" program, covering the entire Lanao Lake, where two million fingerlings and 50 breeders will be placed in rivers and tributaries.