Gov’t intensifies efforts for Marawi’s return to normalcy; More than 70k IDPs return to their homes

MARAWI CITY is gradually returning to normalcy with some residents now back to their homes, Mayor Majul Gandamra announced on Friday, November 24.

During the Bangon Marawi press briefing in Malacañang, Gandamra said 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.

He 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 cited.

“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 assured.

Gandamra added that the city government already presented its proposed master plan for the Marawi rehabilitation to Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM).

Based on their estimates, Gandamra said roughly P90 billion is needed to completely rehabilitate the city.

This would cover all components of the recovery phase, like the rebuilding of physical structures, livelihood programs for residents, and a stronger peace action program.

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

Gov’t to hold more rehab consultations with Marawi stakeholders

Meanwhile, Mayor Gandamra assured that the government would 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 week, in continuation to last Wednesday’s (Nov. 22) 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.

“Our government should properly address this in such a manner that it will not be taken advantage by some who will of course rise on the issue and make it their battle cry to rise 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.

“On behalf of the people of Marawi City, we would like to express our profound gratitude,” he stressed.

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