INKED. (Form left) Christopher Rollo, Country Programme Manager of United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) Philippines, Holcim Philippines Senior Vice President William Sumalinog and Secretary Isidro Lapeá¹…a of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) show a signed agreement on Friday morning, September 20, to empower skilled workers of Marawi, mostly composed of internally displaced persons, by giving them proper training on carpentry and masonry in preparation of the construction of 1,500 permanent housing units to be funded by the Government of Japan. Sultan Camid Gandamra (second from right), Marawi City Administrator, joins with them. (Photo by Divina M. Suson)

MARAWI CITY -- The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) Philippines and Holcim Help have joined hands with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) to provide local residents with a skills enhancement training program.

UN-Habitat and Holcim Help, the corporate citizenship program of Holcim Philippines, Inc., signed on Friday a memorandum of understanding with Tesda to train interested individuals in carpentry and masonry.

The 26-day skills training program targets 300 community home partners of Barangay Dulay Proper, the first project site for the first 109 permanent houses to be built, according to Christopher Rollo, Country Program Manager of UN-Habitat Philippines.

Those who will graduate from the program will be hired as workforce for the construction of 1,500 shelter units as a commitment of UN-Habitat Philippines and the government of Japan, which will fund the project, dubbed as Rebuilding Marawi Shelter and Livelihood.

Holcim Helps, through its Galing Mason Program, and Tesda, will provide the training program.

Organizers said the training aims to develop the trainees' knowledge and core skills and provide opportunities for sustainable livelihood and employment, and support private and government sectors that are in need of construction skilled workers.

"This project is not only building houses but is also a peace-building project because we are also building communities and building partnership," Rollo said.

The training for local construction workers means the people of Marawi themselves are responsible for the planning the shelter design, together with the religious sectors.

Warren Ubongen, project manager of UN-Habitat - Iligan field office said the houses "are designed by the people, not by the UN-Habitat, not by the Holcim, not by the funder through the mission-vision technical workshop we facilitated in June, this year."

Each unit has a lot area of 100 sqm. (24 sqm. ground floor, 18 sqm. loft) with toilet and bathroom, kitchen, electrical circuits and outlets, water lines and outlets, a three-chamber concrete septic tank, and soil infiltration system.

The structure adopted a masonry wall system, concrete slab ground floor, plain plaster finish, steel floor framing on loft and steel roof framing pre-painted CGI roof sheets.

Architect Orwell Obach, technical supervisor of UN-Habitat Philippines, said 122 bags of cement are needed for each housing unit that would cost PHP205,000 each house that would cover the materials and labor.

Each unit is estimated to be finished in 21 days. (PNA)