TFBM Chairman Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario conducts an ocular inspection on the ongoing reconstruction of the White Mosque together with TFBM Field Office Manager Asec. Felix Castro Jr., and Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra. The government sees the repair of the mosques as vital to the social healing of the Maranaos following the 2017 siege.

MARAWI CITY – The Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) will be focusing on the reconstruction and repair of mosques inside the Most Affected Area (MAA) in the coming months.

This was revealed by TFBM Chairman and Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario during a recent inspection of the ongoing reconstruction of White Mosque in Barangay Lumbac Madaya.

The TFBM chief said the Task Force and its implementing agencies will prioritize ongoing repairs on these Islamic places of worship that were either damaged or destroyed during the 2017 siege as instructed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

“I’m elated and very grateful for the progress ng reconstruction, rehabilitation natin especially in the different mosques here in the Most Affected Area,” said Secretary Del Rosario, who was recently confirmed by the powerful Commission on Appointments as the first-ever head of the DHSUD.

“Siguro makikita natin ngayon ‘yung progress ng ating pag-aayos and pretty soon we can realize the dreams of everyone that the mosques will be the first ones to be reconstructed,” the housing czar stressed.

On Friday, Secretary Del Rosario, together with Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra, TFBM Field Office Manager Assistant Secretary Felix Castro, Jr. and DHSUD Chief of Staff Zyril Carlos, conducted an ocular inspection on the three mosques – the Masjid Disomangcop, White Mosque and the Marinaut Mosque.

According to the TFBM chair, PHP15.5 million had been allotted for the repair of the White Mosque. Based on its timetable, it is set to be completed within six to eight months.

“So ‘yung sinasabi natin na timetable na by December 2021, halos sabaay-sabay na ‘yang mga infrastructure natin. Yung ginagawa dito sa loob (MAA), horizontal and vertical (projects), kasama na rin yung mga mosque na ginagawa natin,” he added.

The DHSUD chief reiterated that funds being used for the repair and reconstruction of mosques are donations from private developers involved in the housing sector nationwide. As for foreign donors, Secretary Del Rosario mentioned  that there were a few who made “pledges” but have yet to materialize.

According to Secretary Del Rosario, the TFBM will reconstruct and repair all mosques, including the Grand Mosque and the Dansalan Bato Ali Mosque, that bore the brunt of the five-month-long battle between government forces and Daesh-inspired terrorists three years ago.

The TFBM chief likewise disclosed that some PHP150 million will be spent on the reconstruction of the Bato Mosque, which according to him is projected to become the most beautiful Islamic house of worship in the whole country once finished.

Secretary Del Rosario had repeatedly stated that the government sees the reconstruction of damaged mosques as crucial to the social healing of the Maranaos. (30)