Dela Rosa: Rehabilitation of battle-scarred Marawi City a priority in the Senate

Published October 18, 2021, 7:27 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa has assured residents that the Senate Special Committee on Marawi City Rehabilitation which he leads, is closely coordinating with government agencies to expedite the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the city that was attacked, destroyed, and occupied for months by ISIS-inspired Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorist groups in 2017.

Dela Rosa gave the assurance on Saturday, Oct. 16, which marked the fourth anniversary of the Liberation of Marawi City from terrorist influence.

“I need not go into the details but as [the committee’s] oversight supervision of the reconstruction of Marawi, ‘yung function na ‘yan ay ginagampanan natin (that is my role) through constant monitoring and consultation with the stakeholders of Marawi City, most importantly ‘yung Task Force Bangon Marawi,” he said in a speech during the simple commemoration ceremony held in the city.

“I really love Marawi City, alam ninyo ‘yan You know that it love Marawi city). This is my home for almost four years when I was a scholar at the Mindanao State University, kaya hindi ko po makakalimutan ang Marawi (that is why I cannot forget Marawi). Malaki ang utang ko dito sa Marawi City (I owe a lot to Marawi),’’ he said.

On October 16, 2017, government forces liberated Marawi City from the hands of the terrorist groups.

Dela Rosa also announced that senators are working to speed up the passage of a bill that would compensate the Marawi siege victims.

He was referring to Senate Bill No. 2420, known as “Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act of 2021,” a substitute to Senate Bill No. 1395 which he authored together with other senators.

The bill is with the Senate Committee on Finance, headed by Senator Juan Edgardo ‘’Sonny’’ M. Angara, and has already been presented to the Senate plenary for deliberation.

Dela Rosa said that in the past weeks, senators were pursuing the immediate passage of the compensation measure that seeks to compensate the residents of the city “as the final step of the government to fully rehabilitate the place.”

Although Marawi is not yet totally rehabilitated, government has built mosques, government infrastructures and roads ,according to dela Rosa.

However, residents could not still return because there is still no housing as their houses had been destroyed during the siege, he added.

In an interview during the event, the former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief also said that the residents could not still return to their original homes because they were situated in the most affected area.

It is for this reason that Congress passes the Marawi Victims Compensation Bill that would give them funds to repair their homes and for their livelihood, he added.