MANILA -- More than 100 families in Marawi City have rebuilt their homes four years after the city was liberated from terrorist clutches, an official said Monday.
Marawi was ravaged by a five-month-long armed conflict between Muslim militants and government forces in 2017.
More than 12,000 troops were deployed to fight and remove at least 500 militants.
"Sa ngayon, ang naka-occupy na is 113," Asec. Felix Castro of Task Force Bangon Marawi told TeleRadyo.
(As of now, 113 rebuilt homes are now occupied, these are from barangays Dabdaban, Tolali and Moncado Kadingilan.)
"May ongoing [construction] na 369, meron nang building permit yung 1,113," he added.
(The construction of 359 houses is still ongoing, and 1,113 already have their building permits.)
Castro also noted that the construction of permanent shelters in other areas of Marawi has also been completed.
“Meron na tayong 620 occupied na permanent shelter, tayo’y magpapagawa ng almost 3,000. Ito naman yung hindi na makakabalik sa kanilang lupa, yung mga danger areas, yung nasa easement ng Agus River at tsaka Laka Lanao, di na sila makakablik doon,” he explained.
(We have 620 occupied permanent shelters, we plan to build almost 3,000. This is for those who can't return to their land in danger areas, in the easement of Agus River and Lake Lanao.)
He also said that they are completing projects to build roads, health centers, and places of worship in the city.
“Yung kalsada malapit nang matapos, mga barangay health complexes…yung mga mosque, meron na tayong napagawang mosque, lima na ang huling mosque na natapos natin, yung Grand Mosque, na binisita mismo ni Pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte.”
(The roads are almost done, and the barangay health complexes, we have built five mosques, including the Grand Mosque that President Rodrigo Duterte visited.)
“So minamadali natin yan, yun naman ang pangako natin, na matatapos ito bago, during the term of the President. Ang iba matatapos December 2021, at hopefully, inaambisyon naman talaga namin na matapos yung iba first quarter of 2022,” he said.
(So we are rushing this, that's our promise--that we finish this before the president's term ends. Some projects will be completed by December 2021, and the rest, we hope to finish by the first quarter of 2022.)
Duterte, in his last State of the Nation Address in July, challenged the task force leading the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City to "race against time" and accelerate its efforts to "bring the families back home."
A civic society group, however, said Duterte may leave office next year with the rehabilitation of the city still incomplete.
Samira Gutoc, a Maranao civic leader who is now gunning for a Senate seat, has previously said that the rehabilitation of the city is a "failure," noting that the government should have prioritized issuing building permits, land titling and distribution because "local traditions" are disorderly.
In a July interview, Gutoc said it would have been better if the military's engineering brigade stepped in to fast track rebuilding Marawi and if more contractors helped out to erect permanent shelters for the people.
--TeleRadyo, 18 October 2021