President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday designated Marawi City rehabilitation czar Eduardo del Rosario as point person who will handle funds and work directly with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to speed up reconstruction efforts in the devastated Mindanao city.
President Duterte convened a meeting in Malacanang with heads of national government agencies involved in the Marawi rehabilitation, local government officials and leaders of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Marawi City.
The meeting was called after Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and other legislators conducted a public hearing in Marawi City in late February. Senator Go assured affected residents of the city present during the meeting that he would raise their concerns and issues to the President.
Previously, the President made a pledge to complete reconstruction works in Marawi City before he steps down in 2022. During the meeting, he vowed to monitor the ongoing improvements and rehabilitation work.
During Wednesday’s meeting, issues confronting rehabilitation efforts were discussed. Local residents complained about slow completion of projects and told the President about their intention to return to their homes few years after the violent siege.
The rehabilitation initiatives were delayed by circuitous approval process in the bureaucracy, compelling the President to designate Del Rosario to coordinate efforts especially with the release and approval of much-need budget.
Del Rosario, who chairs the Task Force Bangon Marawi, will work directly with the DBM for the quick release of funds and handle allocations for the projects.
The May 2017 Marawi siege displaced around 40,000 households, according to official government figures.
The actual rehabilitation works started in September 2018 by clearing the city of unexploded bombs and debris. The task force reported that the city is now 99 percent cleared of explosives.
The second phase of the rehabilitation effort involves the construction of structures and buildings in the city.
There are around 56 government agencies working together for the actual rehabilitation under there major objectives: make the rehabilitation effort a catalyst for growth and sustainable development, establish good governance as well as attain a peaceful environment. PND