Marawi master plan out in ‘two weeks,’ says del Rosario

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 November) — The final blueprint for Marawi to rise from the ashes of war is “almost complete,” Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, chair of Task Force Bangon Marawi (TBFM), said.

“The master development plan (for Marawi’s reconstruction and rehabilitation) is coming out in two weeks,” del Rosario told journalists attending the Mindanao Media Forum here on Peace, Martial Law and Marawi Rehab last Friday.

At least 64.582 billion pesos or US$1.21 billion is needed to rebuild and rehabilitate areas affected by the Marawi siege, data from TFBM showed. This does not include the 20.05 billion pesos compensation proposed but still pending in Congress, at the committee levels.

Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, chair of the Task Force Bangon Marawi announces at the Mindanao Media Forum on Peace, Martial Law and Marawi Rehab on November 16, 2018 in Davao City that the Marawi master plan for rehabilitation and reconstruction is “almost complete” and will be released in two weeks. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

The core of Marawi was left in shambles after a five-month war erupted between troops and Islamic State-inspired militants in May last year.

The combined Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups attacked Marawi in a bid to establish an Islamic state there.

The Marawi siege uprooted over 350,000 civilians and left some 1,100 persons killed.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared Marawi liberated from the clutches of Islamic militants during his seventh visit in the city on October 17, 2017.

After several delays, the ground breaking finally pushed through only last October 30, without Duterte.

Breaking down the total budget, the TFBM said the Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan, which covers areas outside Ground Zero or what is now referred to as the Most Affected Area (MAA), needs P47.5 billion (US$889 million); P15 billion (US$288 million) for MAA rehabilitation plan, P1.2 billion (US$23 million) for livelihood assistance and P882 (US$16 million) for the rebuilding of mosques and Islamic centers.

Drieza Lininding, convenor of the Marawi Consensus Group, earlier said there was no comprehensive consultation conducted among local stakeholders in the crafting of the Marawi blueprint.

Del Rosario belied Lininding’s claim, saying that “over 200 consultations were conducted with Marawi stakeholders in collaboration with International Alert and the World Bank in the crafting of the master development plan.”

An operator of the excavating equipment maneuvers to clean up the surroundings of heavily-damaged buildings in Sector 1 of Marawi’s Ground Zero on 31 October 2018. The 75-million peso contract for the debris management of Sector 1 has been awarded to Finmat International Resources, Inc. The Task Force Bangon Marawi says residents can return to rebuild their houses in the Most Affected Area (MAA) by middle of 2020. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

He said the rehabilitation of Marawi “must be a catalyst for growth.”

“The cost is immaterial because we are rebuilding lives. In rebuilding lives, monetary consideration is immaterial,” said Del Rosario,  also chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.

He said the task force will ensure that what President Duterte promised that “Marawi will rise as a prosperous city again” would be fulfilled.

Del Rosario said the Department of Budget and Management assured the TFBM that “there is an unprogrammed appropriation of at least P5 billion that can be tapped for Marawi’s rehabilitation works for next year.”

According to him, the rehabilitation and reconstruction plan for Marawi considered the customs and traditions of the Meranaws and their Islamic beliefs. (Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews)