Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has urged all concerned government agencies to hasten the rehabilitation of the war-torn Marawi City.
Go said there is no reason for the place not to be rebuilt as there’s funds for it.
The senator asked for full cooperation of the rehabilitation team and all concerned national agencies, local government units and stakeholders.
He noted that President Rodrigo Duterte supports all actions on all rehabilitation efforts.
In a special hearing held at the Mindanao State University–Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) in Iligan City on Thursday, February 21, by the Senate Special Committee on Marawi Rehabilitation where Go is a member, the Senator stipulated priorities to complete the rehabilitation of Marawi City.
A Senate Special Committee was created to monitor the rehabilitation progress of Marawi City, headed by Senator Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa.
The Special Committee on Marawi Rehabilitation conducted the special hearing based on Senate Resolution No. (SRN) 66 or Reconstituting the Special Committee on Marawi City Rehabilitation, and SRN 29 which seeks to look into the status of Marawi Reconstruction and Rehabilitation.
Go said it has already been more than two years since the Marawi siege ended in October 2017.
He related they are now looking for concrete outputs that should bear fruits of the assistance given by the government and donations from the international community for a new Marawi.
“The President has two years left in Malacañang. We want to know how the rehabilitation can be completed. We don’t want the responsible officials to be negligent now and then put the blame on the President later on when his term ends,” Go stressed.
On May 23, 2017, the city of Marawi went into a five-month-long armed conflict between the Philippine government security forces and militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), which also included the local Maute and Abu Sayyaf Salafi jihadist groups.
Go said that there are many matters that need to be addressed immediately. Among them is how much have been used from the rehabilitation budget and how was it spent. He also asked if proper consultation was made with the community.
“How have the amounts allocated as budget for the Marawi rehabilitation efforts been utilized? How will the government bridge the gap between the diverse culture and beliefs of the internally displaced persons or IDPs in Marawi and the government sector?” asked Go.
“Have the IDPs been consulted and included in the planning, the timetable, the use of resources, the choice of contractors or even the design of their new homes to reflect their culture and consider the particular needs of their Muslim community? Next, what happened to the pledges of financial assistance from other countries?” Go asked.
The senator also emphasized that the Duterte Administration does not want to see unfinished projects in the rehabilitation nor see people blaming each other for shortcomings.
He will set a meeting in Malacañang between President Rodrigo Duterte and the stakeholders and relevant government agencies in order for the Chief Executive to directly hear the various concerns of IDPs./Stacy Ang