Andanar optimistic about ‘faster’ recovery of Marawi

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Saturday expressed optimism about the immediate recovery of war-torn Marawi City.

“Marawi will rise again and inshallah (if Allah wills it), Marawi’s rise will come faster and better growth (will be seen in) the region for Mindanao, for the country,” Andanar said in the Cabinet Report on “Marawi Rising”.

He also looked forward to the return of peace, prosperity, and prominence of Marawi City, once it is restored to its former glory.

“Marawi is a long-standing gateway to the Muslim heart of the Philippines,” he said. “Ngayong nalalapit na ang kaniyang muling pagbangon, inaabangan ‘di lang ng mga taga-Marawi kundi ng buong bansa na tunay nating makita ang potensiyal nito (Now that it will soon rise, Marawi residents and the entire country are waiting for its true potential).”

Marawi envisioned as “prosperous” city

President Rodrigo Duterte, through Administrative Order 3 issued on June 28, 2017, formed the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) to ensure the recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of the conflict-stricken city.

Chairperson of the TFBM, Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, told the PCOO chief that Marawi’s potential is “very tremendous.”

“Definitely, this will attract more business, investment not only among Muslims but even Christian investors will surely go there,” he said.

Del Rosario said the rehabilitation of Marawi is on track to finish most of the infrastructure projects in the city by yearend.

Despite the challenges in rebuilding Marawi, he assured that all infrastructure projects would be completed before Duterte’s term ends in 2022.

“I can assure you, most of the infrastructure na ginawa natin matatapos (will be finished) by December of 2021 and lahat ng (all) public infrastructure, whether horizontal or vertical, will be completed within the term of the President,” he said.

Del Rosario said the public could expect that Marawi City would soon be recognized again as a “prosperous city”.

“For us, our commitment to Marawi is always first priority and we will do the best we can to ensure that the rehabilitation will be completed within the term of our beloved President,” he said.

Go “full blast”

TFBM field office manager, Assistant Secretary Felix Castro, said the task force is going “full blast” to ensure the immediate recovery of Marawi City.

Talagang ang target date natin ay this year na matapos iyan kasi nga iyon ang pangako ni Secretary del Rosario at hinahabol natin (Our target date is to finish [the infrastructure projects] by this year because that’s the promise of Secretary del Rosario. We’re trying to catch up),” Castro said in an interview with Andanar.

He said ongoing projects in Marawi City include the construction of 10 four-story school buildings, a barangay hall complex, a Grand Market, and a Grand Mosque.

The five-month battle between the military forces and Islamic State-linked Maute terrorist group in Marawi City began on May 23, 2017.

On Oct. 17, 2017, Duterte declared Marawi City free from the Maute group.

The 2017 siege in Marawi City prompted the President to place the entire Mindanao under martial rule until Dec. 31, 2019 to quell terrorism in the southern part of the country. (PNA)

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