MANILA – Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) chairman and housing czar Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario on Tuesday addressed criticisms on the rehabilitation of Marawi City.
In a statement, del Rosario expressed disappointment over the negative comments from various individuals and groups claiming that the Marawi rehabilitation is “long overdue” and affected residents lacked assistance.
Del Rosario remained unfazed as he reiterated that the rehabilitation is still on track.
“We have the methodology in the rehabilitation and we are well within the time frame of completing all major infrastructures by December 2021,” he said.
He noted that after liberation was declared in Marawi city, the government, through the TFBM, put up early interventions to address the needs of affected residents.
These interventions include the provision of relief assistance, health services, and psychosocial support, as well as the building of temporary shelters for residents.
The government also revived the livelihood of residents hard-hit by the five-month long siege in the city, he said.
“This, despite our repeated declaration of commitment to complete the rehabilitation as ordered by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” del Rosario said.
“It’s alright with us as long as deep in our hearts, we know that we are doing what is right for the people of Marawi and we have the support of the Marawi City government and Maranaw traditional leaders in our efforts,” he added.
Del Rosario said the task force, along with its 56 implementing agencies, proceeded to the debris management and bomb-clearing operations which took around two years to complete.
He added that the horizontal and vertical construction went full blast in July, following the release of the PHP3.56-billion budget between April and May this year.
According to the TFBM, there are 12 physical infrastructure projects which are ongoing inside the city’s most affected area (MAA).
Among these are three physical infrastructures that have been completed, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) maritime outpost, Banggolo Bridge (Agus Bridge I), and Mapandi Bridge (Agus Bridge II).
The TFBM said there is an ongoing construction of the Grand Padian, peace memorial park, Marawi museum, school buildings, barangay complex with health centers, Islamic schools, and various road networks within the MAA.
Del Rosario admitted that the community quarantine implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to a slowdown in some construction and other rebuilding efforts.
However, del Rosario assured that most of the ongoing infrastructure projects are still on track and will be completed by December 2021.
Meanwhile, del Rosario denied some claims that residents were not allowed to return to their homes inside the MAA.
As early as July 2019, he said, residents who were able to comply with documentary requirements were given the permission to reconstruct their destroyed houses inside the MAA.
On the other hand, Duterte assured the rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City will be completed as promised.
“The money is there. Do not worry. And we will continue to spend until such time that Marawi is rebuilt to its former glory,” Duterte said in his televised public address on Monday night.
“It might take — you know, it’s not easy to do that but it might take some time before we can really reach the ideal place that you’d call home,” he said.
Duterte was responding to some complaints over the government’s slow rebuilding efforts and its inability to immediately resettle populations displaced by the conflict three years ago.
“You know, Marawi is not that easy. We started it and we are at it already because ‘yung — [the] clearing of explosives ang matagal (is taking too long). Then we have to contend with titles. Iyong mga titles ninyo diyan doble-doble (There are doubled titles). So there’s no one — there’s no title that is really very clean,” Duterte explained. (PNA)
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