MANILA - The Senate on Wednesday formed a special committee to assess the damage and plan the rebuilding of war-torn Marawi City, where clashes between state troops and Islamic State-linked terrorists have raged on for more than two months.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, who called for the creation of the committee through a resolution, said the body would be tasked to study the extent of damage in the besieged city as well as steps to rebuild it.
The body will also study how much funding would be needed to reconstruct damaged facilities in Marawi City.
“The special committee would assess and investigate the extent of damage to the properties, infrastructure and facilities, such as roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, buildings and other structures in Marawi City,” the resolution said.
“These people need all the help they can receive from the government and the private sector to rebuild their lives by starting to rebuild their home city,” the resolution read.
Pimentel last June issued a "special order"allowing senators to provide assistance to those displaced by the ongoing conflict in Marawi City beyond the 5 percent limit under Senate rules.
Government earlier earmarked P5 billion to fund rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City, once a commercial and cultural hub which the long-drawn conflict has left in ruins.
Fighting between government forces and Maute extremists in Marawi City broke out last May 23 and has left at least 539 terror suspects and 122 soldiers dead.
The crisis has displaced the city's more than 200,000 residents and thousands more in nearby areas.