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Senator JV Ejercito, Task Force Bangon Marawi chief Eduardo Del Rosario and Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra (in hard hats) led the groundbreaking ceremonies for the rehabilitation of the city on Tuesday. Photo by Froilan Gallardo

Maranaos growing impatient

Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito (left) listens as Task Force Bangon Marawi chief Eduardo del Rosario explains the government’s rehabilation plan for Marawi City. Ejercito and del Rosario led the ground breaking rites for the rehabilitation of Marawi City sans President Duterte who failed to attend the ceremonies on Tuesday. (photo by Froilan Gallardo)

By Froilan Gallardo
Special Correspondent .

MARAWI City — Task Force Bangon Marawi officials said they are ironing out the issues of the reconstruction of Marawi amid the growing frustrations from residents who still have yet to return to their homes more than a year after the fighting ended.

Government officials took turns in assuring Marawi residents that funding for the reconstruction estimated to be at P70 billion is available.

National Economic and Development Authority Undersecretary Adoracion Navarro said the Department of Budget has already earmarked P10 billion for this year—the initial phase of the Marawi reconstruction.

Navarro said the money is from the National Risk Reduction fund.

“As of Oct. 10, there are P4.6 billion na may Statement of Allotment for Release Order; another P3.9 billion is in various stages of processing for release; and P1.5 billion ang balance ngayon,” Navarro said.

TFBM head Eduardo del Rosario said they estimated the clearing of the rubble in Main Affected Area in Marawi would be finished by 2020.

“After that, phases by phases; sector by sector; you will be allowed to construct your houses,” del Rosario said.

Still, the pronouncements of these two officials did little to assuage the sentiments of Marawi residents who have grown increasingly frustrated of the delays.

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong, former spokesperson od the defunct Lanao del Sur Crisis Management Committee said it did not help that President Rodrigo Duterte did not lead the ground breaking for the reconstruction of Marawi.

“They want to see and hear the bulldozers clearing the grounds in Marawi. They have to see and believe that the reconstruction has started,” Adiong said.

Army soldiers watch the ground breaking ceremonies in Marawi City from the top of an M119 armoured personnel on Tuesday. (photo by Froilan Gallardo)
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