MARAWI CITY – More than just rehabilitating this war-torn city, the government, through the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), is determined to “bring back better” the former glory of the country’s only Islamic city.
Since July this year, rehabilitation works by 56 implementing agencies under TFBM, headed by Secretary Eduardo D. Del Rosario, in Marawi City’s Most Affected Area (MAA) or the so-called “ground zero” went full blast immediately after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved the release of the PHP3.56-billion budget in April and May.
Outside MAA, composed of the 72 least affected barangays, economic vibrancy has returned as evidenced by the dramatic increase in revenue collection in terms of real estate and business taxes by the local government – from a mere PHP500,000 annually prior to the May 2017 siege to about PHP30 million this year.
Clearly, the government is on the right track not only in rehabilitating the city, but also in modernizing it with cutting-edge infrastructure.
“We envision the rehabilitation of Marawi to be a catalyst for growth and sustainable development, a model for good governance and serve as a template to achieve peaceful environment,” Secretary Del Rosario said.
“I won’t be surprised that after the rehabilitation, maybe in 10 years, Marawi City will bloom economically and be very competitive,” he added.
Despite the adverse impact of the coronavirus disease 2019, the TFBM went on with the implementation of major projects, most of which are slated for completion by December of 2021 as embodied in the master development plan.
The Task Force had carried out infra and non-infra interventions to help the Maranaos cope-up and guide them in rebuilding their lives, including financial and livelihood assistance.
Eighty-one percent of the targeted construction of 5,266 transitory shelters for IDPs so far have been built with the rest expected for completion within the first quarter of 2021. These transitory shelters are located in Barangays Sagonsongan, Boganga, Dulay and Rorogagus.
As for permanent shelters, the TFBM is keen on completing 2,000 units under the Pamayandeg sa Ranaw Residences project in Barangay Dansalan. Another 1,297 permanent shelters in Barangays Dulay, Kilala, Gadongan and Patani are now in various stages of completion, jointly by the Social Housing Finance Corporation and UN-Habitat.
Much development had also occurred in the Less Affected Area or LAA over the past few months. Led by the DPWH, the reconstruction of the Banggolo Bridge and the Mapandi Bridge had been completed. A pumping bridge and another similar structure in Kumatan Matampay, on the other hand, are also nearing completion.
Completed projects in LAA are the following: an AFP Maritime Outpost, a City Command Center, a Fire Sub-station and a corn-processing facility. Ongoing projects, meanwhile, are the provision of electrical and water utilities, including the Salintubig Reservoir courtesy of the LWUA and LASURECO.
The TFBM is likewise hastening efforts in finishing the reconstruction of other public buildings and transcentral roads in various parts of the LAA.
Meanwhile, inside MAA, construction works are ongoing for a four-storey school building, the Marawi Central Fire Station, the mall-like Grand Padian Central Market, a Peace Memorial Park, the Marawi City Museum, School of Living Tradition and 24 barangay complexes each having their own health clinic and madrasah. All of these undertakings are set for completion by December of 2021.
Works for the 24-kilometer road networks with underground provision for electricity and water utilities inside “ground zero” are now also on full-swing and are expected for completion by the third quarter of next year.
Other key facilities eyed inside the MAA are a multi-level carpark, more schools for the Maranao youth and a Lake Lanao promenade.
Another key accomplishment for TFBM is the start of mobilization of different private partner-developers in rehabilitating various Islamic houses of praise that were either damaged or destroyed during the siege, including the Grand Mosque, the Bato Mosque and White Mosque. A total of 30 mosques are programmed to be reconstructed inside MAA.
The task force is bent on strengthening further its coordination with the Marawi local government unit, led by Mayor Majul Gandamra, the Maranao traditional leaders and other stakeholders to hasten the completion of rehabilitation projects and bring back full normalcy in the Islamic City. (30)