P90-B needed to rebuild Marawi City, says mayor

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 24 2017 03:00 PM

MANILA – Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra on Friday said at least P90 billion is needed to rebuild the city devastated in the siege by Islamic State-inspired terrorists.

Gandamra said the estimated value needed to rebuild a “better” Marawi was based on the government’s "consolidated master plan" completed several weeks ago.

"Kung meron po akong authority na magbigay, ay initially meron ho tayong an amount of P90 billion,” Gandamra said in a news conference in Malacañang.

"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."

According to Gandamra, the amount will not only be used to rehabilitate structures and restore economic operations in the city, but also to launch “peace-building” efforts to ensure the city will not suffer from another attack from Islamist extremists.

Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairperson Eduardo del Rosario, head of Task Force Bangon Marawi, earlier said the government continues to conduct post-conflict needs assessment in the city, which shall determine the actual amount needed to rehabilitate Marawi.

He said an initial estimate would be announced in January 2018 while the final amount would be made public in March 2018.

The Marawi siege ended last October 23 following 5 months of fierce battles between the Maute terrorist groups and state forces. It left some 1,100 dead, mostly terrorists, and displaced over 350,000 residents from the city and nearby towns.

The military’s relentless bombings on the terrorists’ lairs in the main battle area, coupled with blasts from improvised explosive devices planted by the terrorists, have left the city’s commercial district in ruins.