Malacañang: Marawi rehab efforts never stopped

Despite the prevailing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, efforts to rehabilitate the war-torn Marawi City never stopped, Malacañang said on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this statement after lawmakers from Mindanao criticized President Rodrigo Duterte for leaving out the progress on Marawi City rehabilitation in his fifth State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA).

“Hindi po tumigil ang gobyerno para mapabangon muli ang Marawi dahil nga po doon sa nangyari ilang taon na ang nakakalipas (The government never stopped rehabilitating Marawi after what happened a few years ago),” he said in a virtual press briefing from Quezon City.

Roque said Duterte may have decided not to mention the Marawi rehab updates in his penultimate SONA because infrastructure and housing developments remain ongoing, which could be finished by 2021.
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“Tuloy-tuloy po ang rebuilding of Marawi kaya nga po siguro hindi na sinama sa talumpati ng Presidente dahil nagsimula naman po ‘yan at ongoing po ‘yan (Efforts to rebuild Marawi are ongoing which is perhaps the reason why he did not mention it in his speech),” he said.

He vowed to provide updates on Marawi rehab efforts in his press conferences in the future.

“Sa mga susunod na press briefing, babalik po siguro tayo gaya ng ginagawa natin dati diyan mismo sa Marawi ng makita po ng buong bayan kung nasaan na po ang efforts to rebuild Marawi (In the next press briefing, we will go back to giving updates on Marawi rehab so that the entire nation will know what the government has achieved so far),” he said.

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Last Tuesday, House Deputy Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman expressed hope that Duterte would also give a deadline for the rehabilitation of Marawi, much like the ultimatum for telecommunications companies to improve their services by December.

“Sana binigyan na rin ng taning ang Marawi rehab katulad ng pagbibigay ng taning sa Smart and Globe,” Hataman, a former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said on his official Twitter account.

Anak Mindanao Party-list Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan added that they also waited for the President to make any pronouncement that will somehow hasten infrastructure development in Marawi.

Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) chairman Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario earlier expressed confidence it will meet the December 2021 deadline to finish rehabilitating the city.

"As committed, almost all infrastructure projects within MAA (most affected areas) are now in full blast. With this, we remain confident that we can beat the December 2021 deadline,” Del Rosario said.

The TFBM was created under the administrative order No. 3 issued by Duterte on June 28, 2017, to facilitate the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in Marawi.

It also seeks to help displaced families to recover from the tragedy brought by the Marawi siege in May 2017.

The Marawi siege prompted Duterte to place the entire Mindanao under martial rule until Dec. 31, 2019 to quell the terrorism in the southern part of the country. Over 1,200 people died in the battle until government forces finally liberated Marawi City from terrorists in October 2017.


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