MANILA-- The government is strongly committed to rebuilding Marawi City and making it more vibrant and progressive than before.
This was the message given by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during Friday's "Bangon Marawi" forum held at the Conrad Grand Hotel in Pasay City.
It was read by Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima.
"The entire of Government of the Philippines is committed to the mission of rebuilding Marawi City and all the surrounding affected communities restoring them to vibrancy and making them resilient," the DND chief's message stressed.
"We are not waiting for the total conclusion of military operations before we undertake the rehabilitation efforts, rather we have already started the necessary step towards the formulation of a comprehensive recovery plan for the ravaged communities," he added.
Consultations with the local government and Muslim community leaders are ongoing to ensure that rehabilitation efforts are aimed at inclusivity, ensure the adequacy, suitability and acceptability of the rehabilitation plans and the support systems.
"Various committees under Task Force 'Bangon Marawi' are already working hard to attend to the complex requirements of post-conflict rehab and recovery. Transition shelters are being considered now along with the support infrastructures like schools and markets to facilitate eventual return to normalcy of the way of life of our beloved Maranaws," the defense chief stressed.
And since the Philippines is espousing a whole-nation and society approach in facing and resolving the challenges posed by the rehabilitation of Marawi City, Lorenzana said they will be grateful for the support and cooperation which will be extended by the private and civil society organizations.
"I urge our partners to reach out to the government, through Task Force 'Bangon Marawi' so that our efforts can be properly coordinated and managed our assistance to the communities," said.
Earlier, Lorenzana said the rehabilitation at Marawi City is aimed at repairing and ensuring that all infrastructures, bridges, streets, and other facilities, are cleared and put in running order as quickly as possible, to expedite the rehabilitation of the city, including its business district.
Evacuees whose houses were not damaged in the fighting, will be quickly returned to them as soon as possible.
"Then we will (open) stores and deploy Department of Trade Industries' rolling stores, to ensure that returning evacuees will have sources to acquire their supplies and other daily needs," the defense secretary pointed out.
Temporary homes are also in the footing for residents whose homes were damaged by the fighting which started last May 23 when government forces made an attempt to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader and ISIS "emir" Isnilon Hapilon.
"As soon as the last shot is fired, the rehabilitation phase will start immediately. All available engineering equipment are there, including (those of) the Department of Public Works and Highways," the defense chief stressed.
Source: Philippine News Agency