Press Briefing

Bangon Marawi Press Brefing by Director-General Harold Clavite Philippine Information Agency and Marawi City Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra

Event Bangon Marawi Press Brefing
Location Malacañang Press Briefing Room, New Executive Building

OPENING STATEMENTS:

DIR. GEN. CLAVITE: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Maayong buntag, MPC. We are very lucky today because here with us in today’s Bangon Marawi press briefing is the action man himself, the City Mayor of Marawi.

And I before I give you Mayor Majul Gandamra, I’d like to give you a few updates from Task Force Bangon Marawi.

The series of activities that has been undertaken by the local government unit of Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, and all partners on the ground and stakeholders showed an affirmation of the bayanihan spirit of the Filipino.

It is also a reflection of how we’ve carried out all rehabilitation efforts thus far, cooperative and unifying.

Through the joint efforts of the national government, the Marawi City government, Lanao del Sur, and the ARMM, and the cooperation of the civil society organizations, and all stakeholders on the ground, and affected communities themselves, we are moving forward in rehabilitating Marawi and the war-torn areas.

To date, there have been more than 70,000 individuals that have returned to their homes in the series of Kambalingan or homecoming that was conducted by the city of Marawi.

And so far, we have 19 barangays who have returned to their homes. And we expect more barangays to participate in the subsequent kambalingans and the Office of the Mayor is working very closely with the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the scheduling.

Part of the progress also is the restructuring of the Task Force Bangon Marawi and a series of meetings was conducted this week.

There will be close coordination meetings between the executive committee and the field office in Iligan.

And this close coordination is really expected with all these organizational changes as a result of the shift of focus into the rebuilding process.

Also discussed in the meetings this week were activities under the National Economic and Development Authority, in cooperation with concerned agencies, they would conduct rapid assessment of rehabilitation requirements as soon as they established the baseline data this month, followed by the formulation and rehabilitation and recovery programs for each subcommittee.

These pre-planning activities will lead into the establishment of the Marawi development plan expected to be up for review by March 2018.

Through this, we aim to establish a safe, adaptive, disaster-resilient, and most importantly, peaceful communities.

As for the conduct of the post-conflict needs assessment, the PCNA has been successfully completed for clusters 1 to 10, covering 49 barangays.

And following this would be the deployment of PCNA clusters 11 to 20, that’s a total of 47 barangays.

Now, a few updates from the respective subcommittees of the Task Force Bangon Marawi.

HUDCC reported the progress of the construction of transitional shelters in Sagonsongan. There are already 11 units for area 1, and area 2 has 22, and area 3 has eight housing units.

For area 6, there are already 115 units with laid-out foundation. Construction of 45 units without roofing currently ongoing.

And they also committed to complete 120 to 150 units by December 15th.

On the Mindanao State University housing project, a groundbreaking ceremony was conducted with the presence of Presidential Spokesperson, Secretary Harry Roque and Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, and the rest of the officials of TFBM.

San Miguel Foundation committed to build 5,000 units for permanent housing. This will be located at Barangay Dulay.

The National Housing Authority will also construct Dansalan Highland Residences at about 7,000 square meters lot with five stories located at Barangay Papandayan.

On utilities, the Marawi City water district is already servicing 10 barangays. And the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative has energized 54.12 percent of affected areas after the conflict with around 1,340 individual households to be fully energized a day before their scheduled homecoming.

On business and livelihood, the Department of Agriculture have released 5,000 worth of recovery loans for affected farmers and fishermen who have been profiled since June 2017.

And in addition, P10 million worth of assistance will be provided for a target of 1,500 farmers.

And before we entertain questions from our friends from the media, we would like to give time for our Mayor to give his opening statement and to give us updates.

Before Mayor Gandamra started his public service, he was a practicing lawyer in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro City.

He became an official in the Commission on Audit. And then he was elected as assemblyman in the First District of Lanao del Sur and in

2016, was elected as Mayor of Marawi.

So ladies and gentlemen of the Malacañang Press Corps, let us all give a warm welcome for the first time in Bangon Marawi press briefing, Mayor Majul Gandamra.

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

Of course, first of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the media for this opportunity to give you an update on after the declaration of the total liberation of Marawi City by our President, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

And of course, we’d like also to express our profound gratitude to the national government, to the security forces, and to all sectors who have helped us during this five-month ordeal and the outpouring support from the different sectors which is really great.

And so, on behalf of the people of Marawi City, we would like to express our profound gratitude.

I would like to give a short update on what’s happening in Marawi City right now, after the liberation — after its liberation.

Of course, there is an ongoing engagement with the Task Force Bangon Marawi and the stakeholders, especially the IDPs on the Kambalingan as mentioned by Undersecretary Clavite.

And that we already have returned at least 13,000 families equivalent to 70,000 individuals, or a total of 19 barangays.

And of course, as a result of this, there was this… the restoration of the vital facilities, because this is very important.

So that our people can live a normal life after the total, you know, total devastation of this war-torn city.

And so on water facilities, there is now an ongoing assessment of the water facilities by the Local Water [Utilities] Administration.

And plans of different agencies, including the Department of Interior and Local Government, is being finalized pending the ongoing assessment.

And also on electricity, there is an ongoing repair and rehabilitation of the electric post and other electric lines because of the… as a result of the siege, there were damaged, of course, damaged electric post.

And on the restoration of the solid waste, there is an ongoing assessment on the debris, the collection and disposal of debris, commencing with the engagement with the DENR and other partners.

And on the restoration of the economic cooperation of Marawi City, we are now on the process of assessing jointly, jointly being done with the different line agencies like the DTI.

And right now, we are in the process of constructing a public market.

And of course, on the transportation, we are now in the process of coordinating with the transport group for the restoration of public transport system, the regulation of fare, and other safety and security measures.

And as to the — There’s also an ongoing community mapping and profiling to address the issues on the possible exclusion and omission of our IDPs.

So a joint community mapping and profiling is conducted by the DSWD, the local government of Marawi City, and other partners.

And on the continuing preparation for the return of the other clusters, as part of the return plan of the LGU in Marawi City, there will be a continuing preparation for the return.

And this Saturday, a brigada will commence for the barangays who have submitted their IDP development plan.

They will go through the same preparation, including the installation of water bladders or temporary water systems in the community.

In terms of livelihood support, a skills profiling has been conducted at the evacuation centers, in partnership with the DSWD. The list will be used to link them to available emergency employment opportunities.

The TESDA will also be tapped for the enhancement of the skills so they will have greater chances of looking for employment.

And for those who have returned, a convergence with the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Agrarian Reform, the World Food Programme will commence soon in the 13 agricultural barangays of Marawi City but piloting in the five barangays of Marawi City, namely, Dulay, [unclear], Malimono, Kabasaran, and Barangay Guimba.

And a consultation also will be done next week on the small and medium enterprises, considering that another major economic opportunities for Marawi is unveiling.

And on the restoration of peace and governance, the continuing strengthening program for the barangay peace action team is also ongoing.

Continuing efforts on the restoration of peace with a strong engagement with different sectors, especially with the religious sectors, the traditional leaders and other partners.

We will also be… we will also continue doing the consultation with the IDPs, a series of consultation with the homeowners in the 24 severely affected barangays, especially in the war-torn area, shall commence this Monday.

As a continuation of the — a few days ago, we had this stakeholders’’ meeting in the presence of difference sectors.

And of course, this is — this idea is to rebuild the livelihood of other barangays so we can also focus on the 24 barangays, mostly devastated and when appropriate times comes for sustainable livelihood program. Thank you.

DIR. GEN. CLAVITE: Thank you very much, Mayor Majul.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

Benjie Liwanag (DZBB): Good morning. Good morning, sir. Mayor, one of the consideration in the problem of Marawi is titles. Land titles, I mean. Right now, have you considered doing anything about the land title? Because ‘yung Marawi po is a military reservation. Is this already part nung Bangon Marawi project, Mayor?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Yes, sir. In fact, there is an ongoing — there was this — they created this grievance machinery to address issues on the land dispute, especially the so-called military reservation.

In fact, a few days ago, last November 16, there was this meeting by the Task Force Bangon Marawi, the DENR, and other concerned agencies, together with the local government unit to discuss on how to address or dispose the issues on the military reservation.

Because you know, most part of the land of Marawi City is covered by military reservation, 60 percent out of 8,000 — more than 8,000 hectares is covered by military reservation.

So it is very important that we have to address these issues because our people — we do not want to create any problem out of these issues so that our government should properly address this in such a manner that it will not be taken advantage by some who will of course ride on the issue and make it their battle cry to rise against the government.

Mr. Liwanag: Sir, considering the fact that it’s a military reservation, did you already coordinated with some of the agencies also like LRA, Land Registration Authority, DPWH? Yesterday, Secretary Villar, nandoon po sa Sagonsongan and tsaka binista niya po ‘yun. Napag-usapan ho ba ito, Mayor?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Napag-usapan po namin and in fact, meron pong ongoing survey being done by the DENR, together with other concerned agencies.

And kahapon po ay galing doon ang ating Secretary Villar at Secretary Eduardo del Rosario at napag-usapan po namin itong patungkol sa issues on military reservations.

Kasi ho, marami po tayong mga kababayan na nangangamba na baka ho sila ay ma-displace as a result of the claims na it will be taken over by the government.

But para po mapaliwanagan natin ang ating mga kababayan, ay meron na pong ongoing dialogue, discussions with the different sectors, stakeholders.

Nang sa ganun ay kung ano po ‘yung kinakailangan ng ating gobyerno doon sa sinasabing 60 percent of the — out of the total land area of Marawi City is covered by military reservation — 60 percent of that is under military reservation, kung paano po natin ‘yan magagamit.

Ito po ba ipapamimigay natin ‘yung part of this land sa ating mga kababayan na meron na pong — even before the declaration of this as a military reservation ay meron na hong historical claims.

So ‘yan po ang ating pinag-uusapan ngayon with the Task Force Bangon Marawi and other concerned agencies.

Mr. Liwanag: Sir, will you push through nung pagbabalik ng mga residente sa Sagonsongan? Ang target date niyo po is December, kaya po ba ito?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Well, as soon as the construction is completed, and that all these vital facilities are put in place, we will suggest that pwede na ho nating ibalik ang ating mga kababayan to decongest the… itong mga evacuation centers in some part of the region.

So ng sa ganun ay medyo maa-alleviate natin ‘yung situation ng ating mga kababayan na nasa mga evacuation center.

Mr. Liwanag: Sir, ang pinag-uusapan lang natin dito, Sagonsongan, doon lang po? Hindi pa po doon sa ibang areas o meron na rin po?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Meron pong ibang area that are still being developed.

Like for example, in the adjacent barangay, meron po tayong pinapatayong 335 shelters on top of the, itong existing construction of 1,100 plus transition shelters at Barangay Sagonsongan.

Mr. Liwanag: Thank you very much, Mayor.

Pia Gutierrez (ABS-CBN): Sir, kay Director Clavite. Sir, I just want to clarify ‘yung figures. Ilan na po ang nakabalik na mga Marawi residents? Is it 70,000?

DIR. GEN. CLAVITE: Based on the information that we received from the Office of the City Mayor, it’s 70,000 individuals.

Ms. Gutierrez: So it’s 7-0?

DIR. GEN. CLAVITE: 7-0.

Ms. Gutierrez: Ilang families po ito, sir?

DIR. GEN. CLAVITE: That’s about 14 —

MAYOR GANDAMRA: 13,000.

Ms. Gutierrez: 13,000. Okay. Sir, going back doon sa rebuilding ng Marawi. I just want to know, Mayor, what does the local government think about ‘yung suggestions to rebuild Marawi City on another location?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Thank you, ma’am. Well, there are proposals being made by some expert from other [unclear]

In fact, I was able to talk to Mr. Palafox and there’s already this proposal for the preservation of the ruins of this — the war-torn area and then planning to transfer the… this business center to another location within Marawi City.

Well, the proposal is really a very ambitious proposal. It’s a nice proposal but as to the applicability in our locality, I would say that we have to, of course, discuss it with our — especially our constituents.

We have to consider so many, you know, factors like cultural, religious, social sensitibilities of our people. So, ‘yan po ang ating pinag-uusapan sa ngayon po.

Because we had — we have presented our Comprehensive Master Plan before the Task Force Bangon Marawi and this is still subject for [unclear].

And in fact, we are now closely coordinating with the NEDA. Sila po ‘yung — parang sila ‘yung core agency na magbubuo doon sa Comprehensive Master Plan that will be the basis for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi City.

Ms. Gutierrez: Pero sir, if ever itong proposal na ito, may mga locations po ba na possible na malapit doon sa business center na paglilipatan?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Gay po ng sinabi ko, not only that ‘no ‘yung na-mention ko about these sensitibilities of our people. Pati ho ‘yung land use, ‘no. Pati ‘yung saan ililipat.

In fact, pinag-uusapan natin kanina about this military reservation. So ‘yan po ay isa ring factor that may not be conducive to the, ‘yung sinasabi ‘yung proposal na ililipat.

But of course, ang aking — on my personal view at based doon sa ating consultation with my constituents ay mas maganda po na we will just rebuild and reconstruct the war-torn area and then we will expand, especially government centers.

Ms. Gutierrez: Sir, ‘yung assessment po ng damage, hindi pa po natatapos pero there have been estimates coming from various officials on the cost of rebuilding Marawi City. May nagsasabi po na it could be upwards sa P50 billion. Pero sa nakikita niyo sir, magkano po ang kailangan para ma-rebuild ang Marawi City?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Well, based doon sa estimate, in fact doon ho sa aming… the Master Plan — the Consolidated Master Plan that we submitted several weeks ago ay initially po ay merong, if — kung meron po akong authority na magbigay, ay initially meron ho tayong an amount of P90 billion. Yes, ma’am.

Ms. Gutierrez: Bakit ganun po kalaki, sir? 90 billion?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Well, kung ibabalik — kung aayusin po natin ang Marawi City ay hindi po natin — hindi lang ho ibabalik natin sa dati. But of course, we will make it better than it was before.

‘Yun po ang ating gusto. And of course, no amount of money that can compensate doon ho sa nangyari sa Marawi City.

So I think ‘yung pag-uusap about the amount is really not so…

Ms. Gutierrez: Sir, ‘yung 90 billion is not just about rebuilding infrastructures but restoration of livelihood? Ganun ba sir?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Yes, ma’am. Kasama po ‘yan. Lahat ng components po. Kasama po ‘yung, of course the restoration of economic operations of Marawi City. Because as a result of this siege ‘no, almost 100 percent po ay totally collapsed ang aming economic operation.

And of course, in terms of peace building kasama rin po ‘yan. Hindi lang ho in terms of rehabilitating or reconstructing the physical structures of the damaged structures.

Ms. Gutierrez: Sir, last na lang kasi I understand that the government is allocating 10 billion for Marawi rehabilitation for next year. Would you request po an additional budget considering 90 billion po ang estimate natin?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Well, ngayon ko lang po narinig ‘yan. But initially narinig ko po na there is this proposal na magkakaroon ng at least P30 billion to be allocated for the first year, meaning 2018.

Because the reconstruction and rehabilitation will commence probably on the first quarter of 2018. So that was the initial information I got from the Task Force Bangon Marawi.

Ms. Gutierrez: Thank you, sir.

Rose Novenario (Hataw): Hi good morning, Mayor. Hi.

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Good morning po.

Ms. Novenario: Sir, papaano po — ano po ‘yung mga hakbang na ginagawa ng local government para po matiyak na hindi na po mauulit ‘yung pagpasok po ng mga ISIS-inspired terrorists po sa Marawi. May mga pagpupulong po ba sa mga barangay chairman, sa mga NGOs doon? Ano po ‘yung mga ginagawa natin?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Thank you, ma’am. In fact ma’am, even before the siege, meron na pong ginagawang pagpupulong dahil — pagpupulong with the different sectors.

But it happened. Nangyari po. Because right then, meron na pong ongoing na kaguluhan in some part of Lanao del Sur that is — that was during the time of ‘yung may kaguluhan doon sa Butig at Piagapo.

So, kami po sa Marawi City, mayroon na po kaming ginagawang mga hakbangin. But of course, we were — hindi po namin ine-expect ang ganung pangyayari.

And in fact even the military said, although alam po nila, meron silang intelligence report, but maybe it was underestimated.

So sa tingin ko po dahil nangyari na ‘yan ay dapat po hindi na ho tayo — dapat hindi na ho tayo magkumpiyansa ‘no.

And that right now, ang aming ginagawa, we are engaging the religious sectors, the sultanate, the traditional leaders, and of course all of the communities.

Even the family themselves should also be part of this — itong laban against these kind of terroristic acts ‘no.

Kasi ‘yung pamilya mismo. In fact during the siege, we found out that some, you know — may mga pamilya na lumalapit sa atin and telling us that nawawala ang kanilang mga anak.

So later on ay hindi na ho bumabalik dahil it was found out that nasama na doon sa loob. That they fight it out with this Maute or this ISIS-inspired group.

So ‘yun po. Hindi lang ho ang gobyerno ang dapat mag-address diyan kundi ang pamilya po ay dapat maging vigilant mismo sa kanilang mga kapamilya.

Ms. Novenario: Ang sector po ng edukasyon, ano po ‘yung maitutulong nila? Kasi parang pagguho po ng moral values ‘yung nangyari?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Tama po ‘yan. Alam po ninyo, many of these, itong mga recruits by the ISIS-inspired group is from the itong sinasabi nating Madrasah.

Ito ay educational facilities na kung saan tinuturo dun ang way of life ng mga Islam or ng mga Muslim ‘no. Hindi lang about the religion of Islam but ‘yung way of life.

So dahil po medyo, I would say na medyo mahina ang presensya ng ating gobyerno doon, so I would say that we have to — right now, we have to give more, of course, attention, support.

Kasi dun po nagkaroon ng gap, nagkaroon po ng opportunity itong mga grupo na ito na nagbigay ng support, let’s say financial support, dito sa mga schools.

And they were able to inculcate some principles and ideas, using of course, itong — our religious — religion na Islam. And of course, deviating from the usual ‘yung talagang teaching of the true essence of Islam.

So ‘yan po ay nagkaroon ng opportunity ang — itong mga ito na — itong mga vulnerable members of the society ay n- entice to join this group.

Ms. Novenario: Last na lang po. So ang ire-recommend niyo po sa national government o sa DepEd na i-monitor po ‘yung mga Madrasah schools po sa Marawi?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Yes po, in fact, ang city government of Marawi City and even, I think, the provincial government is now in the process of passing resolutions or ordinances to regulate.

Hindi ho para i-suppress ‘yung freedom of education ‘no, or belief, kung hindi para po ma-guide natin sila para na maiwasan natin itong nangyari sa Marawi City.

Ian Cruz (GMA): Hi, Mayor. Salamat po. Kami ni Benjie Liwanag, ilang beses kaming nagkubli dun sa city hall compound nung time nung siege. Anyway, nabanggit niyo po kanina na kung kayo ang tatanungin, mas gusto niyo na i-rehabilitate na lang ‘yung war-torn area. Bakit po ‘yun ang option ninyo and mas madali po yata ‘yung sabi nga ni Sir Palafox na sa labas na lang?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Well, ‘yun po ang consensus, ‘yun po ang ating nararamdaman na gusto ng ating mga kababayan. Kasi ho, hindi naman ho — sabi — I respect the opinion of experts like Mr. Palafox, but sabi ko nga ho ay hindi ho lahat ng nais nating gawin ay magiging applicable sa isang locality.

It might be applicable to this certain locality, but it will not be applicable to this certain locality. So ‘yan po ang aming pananaw, but we have to, of course, observe and respect some sensitibilities of our people.

Mr. Cruz: Pero Mayor, tama po ba, meron pong part pa rin ng Marawi na pwedeng gawing titignan ng mga tao para sa educational trip o kung sino man po ‘yung gustong pumunta doon balang araw?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Meron pong ongoing discussions on that. And in fact, I for one also suggested that there should be at least one to three — pwede nating i-retain ‘no, preserve the ruins of these — especially, itong mga historical structures.

Like, for example, certain mosques na willing naman ang ating constituents within the community na payagan i-preserve and — and then i-relocate in some other areas of Marawi City.

Mr. Cruz: So, Mayor, mga ilang ektarya lang ‘yung gusto niyong — or gusto ng mga taon na i-preserve?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Well, sa ngayon po ay dini-discuss pa namin. In fact, sabi ko nga ho ay pwede tayong mag-preserve ng isa, dalawa, tatlong istruktura, especially ‘yung may historical significance sa — during this, itong nangyaring kaguluhan sa Marawi City.

Rosalie Coz (UNTV): Hi, sir. Good morning po. Tanong ko lang po kung all present and accounted for na po natin lahat ng Marawi residents, kung meron din po tayong initial na bilang kung gaano karaming residente ‘yung totally nawalan ng kabuhayan, walang matitirahan, lahat po nawala?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Well, ‘yun pong mismo sa ground zero, ‘yung 24 barangays, ay totally displaced at totally affected ang kanilang economic well-being, talaga hong ‘yan po ang ating dapat tutukan.

So more or less nasa more than 10,000 households. That would be equivalent to 50,000 people.

Ms. Coz: So nasa 10,000 po na…

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Mga around 10,000 households…

Ms. Coz: — Pamilya ang talagang kailangan tulungan po ng pamahalaan dahil nawala ang kabuhayan? Pero sir, ‘yun pong bilang ng mga nasawing residente dahil sa bakbakan, meron po ba tayong initial or final report on that? Kasi sa pagkakatanda ko po nung mga nakalipas, after ng liberation ng Marawi, wala po tayong nai-report?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Yes, right. On the first issue ‘no, ‘yung sa — ‘yung dapat tulungan.

Hindi lang ho ‘yung 10,000 households, kasi pati ho ‘yung hindi nasiraan but ‘yung kanilang economic — ‘yung kanilang pamumuhay ay talagang apektado as a result of this war.

Doon naman ho sa bilang ng ilan ang namatay na sibilyan, what was reported in the, our official report is that we have at least four — more then 40 civilians killed during the — during the siege.

So ‘yan po ang aming — initially, ‘yun po ang naipadala sa atin, but ongoing pa rin po kasi ongoing pa rin ang ating PCNA, itong assessment.

So on the process, meron ho tayong mga nare-retrieve na mga — mga namatay.

So I would say na hindi pa po natin na exactly masabi kung ilan talaga ang namatay within that ground zero.

Ms. Coz: So ibig sabihin, sir, hindi pa rin po accounted lahat ng Marawi residents?

MAYOR GANDAMRA: Well, sa ngayon po wala pa hong nag — nagpadala ng mensahe, especially sa city hall na naghanap.

Kasi ho ang in-charge doon ay ang DILG, ‘yung MDM, sila po ‘yung in-charge doon sa mga unaccounted individuals, ‘yung constituents from Marawi City, at ‘yung mga namatay.

So ‘yun po ang aming ginagawang proseso.

But right now po ay ‘yun pong sinabi kong more than 40 civilians, ‘yun po ang reported na namatay.

—END—

source: PCOO-PND (Presidential News Desk)

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