MARAWI CITY, Philippines – Personnel from different barangays in Marawi City came together Thursday morning and started combing through the city streets for the clean-up drive.
This is in preparation for the homecoming of displaced residents whose houses are situated in the controlled areas or barangays that were not severely affected by the war.
If all things go well, the project targets to have all the evacuees sent home by the end of October.
“As soon as possible na kung matapos na sa loob ng limang araw na malinis namin itong walong barangay. So Inshallah babalik na tauhan namin dito sa walong barangay (As soon as possible if we finish clearing these eight barangays within five days. So Inshallah [if Allah wills] residents may return to the eight barangays),” Brgy. Dayawan Chairman Sahrani Batugan Mutin said.
The barangay chairman also said his constituents are glad that Marawi City is now declared liberated from terrorists.
“Masaya, nakakaiyak talaga kasi almost 5 months na hindi namin nakita yung iniwanan namin na mga bahay namin sa barangay Dayawan (Happy. It brings tears to the eyes because it has been five months that we have not seen our homes in Barangay Dayawan),” Mutin said.
Once the evacuees are sent home, the authorities plan to implement an ID (identification) system to ensure that bad elements will not be able to penetrate their community.
But not all, however, will be able to immediately go home as barangays that happened to be among the main battle areas will take a longer time to be restored.
To date, the national government is still facilitating the funds that will be used for the rehabilitation of Marawi City.
“DBM Secretary Diokno said the government will issue bonds in January to finance Marawi rehabilitation. Seceretary of Finance Dominguez says he directed DOF to study the possible issuance of 30 billion in bonds after PRRD earlier committed at least 20 billion to rehabilitate Marawi. The President has committed ample funds to rebuild Marawi and the January bonds will ensure that his pledge is fulfilled. We hope to tap local and global markets as well as Islamic investors in ASEAN and the Middle East possibly with Islamic securities, ”Presidential Spokesperson Usec. Ernesto Abella said.
Meanwhile, a city councilor is opposing a proposal that seeks to just build a new community instead of restoring the structures in the main battle area that were demolished.
“Tulad namin na may bahay kami mas gusto namin makuha namin yun . . . kasi kawawa naman yung may mga bahay na hindi nila makukuha yung mga lot nila (Like for us homeowners, we would like to have our house back…it’s unfair for homeowners to lose their lots),” Marawi City Councilor Farhanah Langco said.
Langco further appealed for unity to prevent a similar crisis from happening. – Victor Cosare, UNTV News & Rescue