Significant progress made in Marawi rehab plans: DND chief
By Priam Nepomuceno
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Significant progress has been made in the plans for the rehabilitation and recovery plans of war-torn Marawi City.
This, according to Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, as efforts to root out the remaining Maute Group terrorists have reached its 100th day on Wednesday.
“As our troops continue to mount their offensives against cornered leaders and members of the Maute-Daesh (Islamic State) group, we are pleased that the Task Force Bangon Marawi has made headways in the rehabilitation and recovery programs we have planned for our affected residents,” he added.
Lorenzana said the government continues to consult, coordinate and partner with various sectors, particularly the traditional, political and religious leaders in the locality regarding the various rehabilitation and recovery programs.
“Most importantly, we are working with the internally displaced persons (IDPs) themselves, our Maranao brothers and sisters, who are as eager as we are to start a new life, and chart a better future for their beloved city,” he added.
The DND chief also urged all Marawi residents and the various stakeholders to do their share in fighting radicalism and terrorism so that peace will reign in the land.
Earlier, Lorenzana said the rehabilitation at Marawi City is aimed at repairing and ensuring that all infrastructures, bridges, streets, and other facilities are cleared and put in running order as quickly as possible, to expedite the rehabilitation of the city, including its business district.
Also, evacuees, whose houses were not damaged in the fighting, will be quickly returned to their homes as soon as possible.
“Then, we will (open) stores and deploy Department of Trade Industry’s rolling stores, to ensure that returning evacuees will have sources to acquire their supplies and other daily needs,” the defense secretary pointed out.
Temporary homes are also being eyed for residents whose homes were damaged by the fighting which started last May 23 when government forces tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader and ISIS “emir” Isnilon Hapilon.
“As soon as the last shot is fired, the rehabilitation phase will start immediately. All available engineering equipment are there, including (those of) the Department of Public Works and Highways,” the defense chief stressed. (PNA)