MARAWI CITY – The Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) has inaugurated the first mosque reconstructed inside the Islamic City’s most affected area or “ground zero” – – signaling the initial fruits of the massive rehabilitation efforts.

TFBM Chairman Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario led the ribbon-cutting of Disomangcop Mosque on Wednesday after completion of the reconstruction of the religious site which was damaged during the five-month siege laid by Daesh-inspired Maute terrorist group in 2017.

Secretary Del Rosario stressed that the repair and construction of mosques is in compliance to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive.

“Based on the instruction of our President, we must focus on the reconstruction of mosques before any other project,” the TFBM chief stated, adding “but what we did was simultaneously construct the different facilities and infrastructure in tandem with the refurbishment of mosques.”

Apart from the Disomangcop Mosque, whose reconstruction was supported by the Ayala Group through its incentivized compliance to balanced housing program, also inaugurated during Secretary Del Rosario’s latest visit to Marawi City was the Lilod Guimba Bridge and the Rorogagus Health Station.

Last May, the TFBM also turned over the Barangay Tolali Complex complete with madrasah and health station, while in February, a total of 109 permanent shelters were awarded to families of internally displaced people.

TFBM Chairman and DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario (second from left) joins Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra (third from left) and members of the Lanto clan who serves as the mosque’s administrator during the Islamic house of praise’s recent inauguration inside the former “Ground Zero” – signaling the continuous progress of the government-led rehabilitation of the country’s only Islamic city following the 2017 siege. (DHSUD)

Based on his latest assessment, Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario said that the overall completion rate of the ongoing government rehabilitation effort is now at 68 percent.

Secretary Del Rosario, who also heads the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), assured the public, especially the Maranaos, that the TFBM remains on track to meeting its timeline of finishing all projects within the term of the Duterte administration.

“With the progress of different projects being implemented, we can see that every month, there is progress and hopefully some projects can be completed even before December (of this year),” he noted.

“Starting next month, we will either be inaugurating or turning over completed projects,” Secretary Del Rosario said.

Lined up for next month are the awarding of 170 permanent housing units and ribbon-cutting for three more barangay complexes inside the Most Affected Area.

Secretary Del Rosario said that the construction of road networks in Marawi’s former “ground zero” is now around 70% completed.

“The road networks are very important because these will signal for us to allow those residing in Sectors 4 to 9 to come home and build their respective houses by October (this year),” the housing czar said.

“So when these road networks are completed as programmed by end of September, starting October, we will allow the entry and construction of private houses by October,” he added. — CVC