House subpanel to lend ear to Marawi folk

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

Residents of battle-scarred Marawi City will get a chance to “ventilate their frustrations” and personally ask concerned government officials about the status of the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts there next week.

This, after Anak Mindanao Party-List Rep. Makmod Mending Jr., confirmed that the House Subcommittee on Marawi Rehabilitation will hold its first public hearing in Marawi City on Wednesday, March 20.

“I understand the nuances of government bureaucracy but the people of Marawi have been patient for more than a year now, they can’t wait any longer, their grievances have to be addressed now,” Mending, the subpanel chairman, said in an interview.

Anak Mindanao partylist Rep. Makmod Mending Jr. (FACEBOOK/ MANILA BULLETIN)
Anak Mindanao partylist Rep. Makmod Mending Jr. (FACEBOOK/ MANILA BULLETIN)

“That’s the reason why we are conducting the public hearing so that they may be able to ventilate their frustrations and may be addressed directly by officials concerned,” he added.

Expected to attend the public hearing are Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Chairperson Eduardo Del Rosario, National Housing Authority (NHA) general manager Jun Escalada, and other members of the TFBM.

Del Rosario is expected to present the government’s Master Development Plan, while Escalada is set to tackle the Debris Management Plan, Mending said.

“The public then may ask their questions and raise issues,” he said.

“The main issue is the actual rehabilitation works inside MAA (most affected area, or Ground Zero) which basically there is none yet,” he pointed out.

Del Rosario earlier assured the Mending panel that the Marawi rehabilitation will be completed by December 2021.

Among the House members who confirmed their attendance to the March 20 hearing were Reps. Cristina “Chiqui” Roa-Puno (Antipolo City, 1st district), Mauyag “Jun” Papandayan Jr. (Lanao del Sur 2nd district), Ansaruddin Abdul Malik Adiong (Lanao del Sur, 1st district), and Akbayan Party-List Rep. Tom Villarin.

On December 10, 2018, the subpanel’s mother committee, the House Committee on Disaster Management conducted an ocular visit at the ravaged city to check on the status of the Marawi rehabilitation and reconstruction.

It can be recalled that an estimated 1,000 members of terror group Maute attacked the Islamic City on May 23, 2017. Marawi was liberated by government forces five months later, but was devastated as a result of the fierce fighting.