Marawi rehab to cost P90 billion

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IT will take P90 billion to completely rehabilitate Marawi, according to the city’s Mayor Majul Gandamra. The amount is equivalent to the annual budget for the retirement fund of soldiers and policemen or the 2016 capital expenditure of the conglomerate SM Group.

Gandamra said the amount will cover the rebuilding of physical structures, livelihood programs for residents, and a stronger peace action program according to the city government’s proposed master plan for the Marawi rehabilitation.

The plan has been presented to Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), which is leading the rehabilitation.

“Kung aayusin po natin ang Marawi City… hindi lang ho ibabalik natin sa dati. [W]e will make it better than it was before,” the mayor said.

On Friday’s Bangon Marawi press briefing in Malacañang, Gandamra said the city government is now in the process of restoring vital facilities in affected areas. This includes an ongoing assessment of water facilities and the repair of damaged electric posts.

They are also closely coordinating with transport groups for the restoration of the city’s public transport system, the regulation of fares, and other needed security measures.

A public market is likewise being constructed for the residents, Gandamra said.

Meanwhile, Marawi City is gradually returning to normalcy with thousands of residents, who fled during the five-month battle between troops and Maute terrorists, returning home.

At least 13,000 families or around 70,000 individuals from 19 barangays have returned to their homes through the local government’s “Kambalingan” initiative Gandamra announced

In the same briefing, Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director-General Harold Clavite said the TFBM is expected to complete a finalized Marawi Development Plan by March next year.

Gandamra said the government will continue to hold more consultations with all stakeholders in discussing the rehabilitation of Marawi.

He said a consultation with IDPs from the 24 severely affected barangays would commence next we dialogue between government agencies and Marawi stakeholders.

Among issues raised by stakeholders, according to Gandamra, is the need to address land ownership in the city. Sixty percent of Marawi is sitting on military reservation.

“[O]ur government should properly address this in such a manner that it will not be taken advantage of by some who will of course rise on the issue and make it their battle cry to rise up against the government,” he said.

“But para po mapaliwanagan natin ang ating mga kababayan, ay meron na pong ongoing dialogue, discussions with the different sectors, stakeholders… kung paano po natin ‘yan magagamit… So ‘yan po ang ating pinag-uusapan ngayon with the Task Force Bangon Marawi and other concerned agencies,” he ensured.

Furthermore, the Marawi City mayor extended his gratitude to the national government, the country’s security forces, and other private sectors for their “outpouring support” in liberating the city from Maute terrorists.

“[O]n behalf of the people of Marawi City, we would like to express our profound gratitude,” he stressed. rw: wjg

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