Arroyo presses for rehabilitation of battle-scarred Marawi
House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took the opportunity during Monday’s first meeting of the newly-created House Committee on Disaster Management to highlight the urgency of the rehabilitation of Marawi City.
“At this point in time in our congressional calendar, it’s time for us to start focusing on our oversight functions. And maybe, the No. 1 oversight function that we need to undertake in this committee is the oversight of Marawi rehabilitation,” Arroyo said.
Bataan 1st District Representative Geraldine Roman, who chairs the House Disaster Management Committee, presided over the meeting that was also attended by Deputy Speaker Prospero Pichay, Reps. Tom Villarin, Winston Castelo and Makmod Mending, among others.
Arroyo, who is former president and currently in her last term as Pampanga 2nd District Representative, proposed for the legislature’s exercise of its oversight function relative to the Marawi rehabilitation even as she expressed appreciation for Roman’s initiative in laying down the committees’ vision and tasks.
“Everywhere I go, I keep hearing, abroad and here, I keep hearing comments about they haven’t seen anything on the rehabilitation of Marawi. Let’s find out what it is, what is stage now,” she said.
“The additional oversight function of the legislature will be useful not only in regulating, as has been expressed in the opening remarks of our Chair, but even more so in encouraging our implementers from the executive branch so that they can remain focused on strive for maximum results in the shortest possible time,” Arroyo added.
Marawi City was reduced to rubble after government forces launched a five-month intense war from May last year against the Maute and Abu Sayyaf terror groups that have penetrated the predominantly Islamic city in a bid to establish a local base for the Islamic State.
The battle left close to 1,500 people dead, mostly militants, and displaced over 350,000 people.
While rehabilitation for the areas outside the main battle area has begun, albeit gradually, soon after the intense fighting was declared finished in October last year, it took until Oct. 30 this year for the government to officially kick off the rebuilding of the city’s most affected area, comprised of 24 barangays and an area of 250 hectares, due to the clearing operations and the process in awarding of the rehabilitation project contract.(END)
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