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Faster Marawi rehab completion vowed

Marawi City/Philippine Information Agency

The member-agencies of Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) have committed to expedite the completion of all ongoing initiatives in Marawi City during their interagency meeting in Cagayan de Oro City.

On May 5, the representatives from the TFBM’s implementing bodies, including the Department of National Defense, Department of Education, Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), and National Housing Authority (NHA), met in person for the first time in over a year to discuss the most recent updates and developments on the status of their remaining programs, projects, and activities in Marawi.

Assistant Secretary for TFBM Melissa Aradanas represented Secretary of Human Settlements and Urban Development and TFBM Chairperson Jose Rizalino L. Acuzar at the crucial forum.

Aradanas emphasized in her introductory remarks that Marawi’s rehabilitation is on track, stressing that great progress has already been made in the city, as evidenced by the completion of numerous initiatives presently benefiting local inhabitants.

“Indeed, much progress has already transpired in Marawi, as shown by the completion of numerous facilities in the Most Affected Area (MAA), which are now being enjoyed by local citizens. More importantly, our earnest efforts to facilitate the long-awaited return of the internally displaced persons (IDP) to the MAA, are now bearing fruit,” she said.

“The TFBM is adamant that, today, we will be able to identify issues and concerns that may be hindering our respective undertakings, and that we can immediately find remedies and solutions to address them. We also hope that through this meeting, our camaraderie and unity of purpose and commitment will be strengthened further.”

The Bulk Water System and Water Sewerage Treatment Plant projects of LWUA, intended to guarantee the supply of potable water to Marawi’s IDPs in both temporary and permanent shelter locations across the Islamic City, were high on the agenda.

The NHA and Social Housing Finance Corporation’s ongoing projects, notably those involving permanent shelters and land development endeavors, were also reviewed. These projects are being carried out by DHSUD’s primary shelter organizations.

Updates on finished and ongoing projects by the Departments of Education, Health, and Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative (school buildings with ancillary facilities, hospital with basic equipment, and provision of power and transmission lines to permanent resettlement sites) were also discussed at the meeting.

The newly established Marawi Compensation Board (MCB)’s mandate to provide just compensation to those who lost their lives and whose properties were either damaged or destroyed during the 2017 siege must be fulfilled. The Office of the Civil Defense also provided updates on post-conflict needs assessment.

As such, Aradanas stressed that Marawi’s full rehabilitation can only be achieved with the return of IDPs to their homes, adding that the TFBM continues to assist and coordinate with the MCB to achieve their common goal of rebuilding not only Marawi but also the lives of its people.

Secretary Acuzar had given a directive to ensure the completion of Marawi’s rehabilitation by the end of the year, she said, urging the TFBM’s member-agencies to double their efforts in finishing their respective projects.

Also present at the forum were TFBM Deputy Head Secretariat Raymond Cajayon, Legal Attorney Siegfrid Lapasaran and Field Office Program Manager Felix Castro Jr., as well as representatives from implementing agencies, including Assistant Secretaries Emmanuel Anthony Ramos of the Department of National Defense, Jaubilly Racho of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and Pendatun Disimban of the Cooperative Development Authority.— Jel Santos


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