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MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ordered the streamlining of government agencies involved in rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City and other areas affected by the siege in a bid to expedite recovery and rebuilding efforts.
This comes six years after the months-long battle of Marawi in 2017. Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin signed Administrative Order No. 14 on December 22, and a copy was released to be public over a week later.
“To ensure institutional stability, it is imperative to institutionalize and strengthen the functions of implementing government agencies involved in the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in the City of Marawi and other affected localities,” the order read.
Under the order, the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) will cease its operations come December 31, and it will be functus officio after three months or by March 31, 2024. Its unused funds would be turned over to the Office of the President.
This means that its assets and unfinished tasks would be turned over to concerned agencies, which will take over the specific program.
“While TFBM performs supervisory role such as coordination and monitoring activities, it is still the government agencies that execute the projects needed for recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi,” Marcos noted.
The chief executive called on the task force to prepare a Comprehensive Transition Report that details projects and activities being implemented and causes of the project delays.
The order has also listed which agencies are involved and what their tasks are:
- The Department of Health together with the Department of Social Welfare and Development will take care of sanitation and the basic needs of the residents.
- The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development will manage the construction projects for shelters for those displaced by the siege.
- The Department of Trade and Industry will be in charge of reviving the business landscape in Marawi and other affected areas.
- The Department of Interior and Local Government is expected to ensure peace and order.
- The Department of Public Works and Highways will oversee the repairs of local infrastructure – from water supply to other public infrastructure.
Marcos in his 2023 State of the Nation Address noted progress in the rehabilitation of Marawi City and how the government is working toward distributing financial aid to those affected by the siege.
But there is much work that needs to be done. Families are pushed to extreme poverty. Reports also noted that some claimants have experienced hiccups with the Marawi Compensation Board as they did not have complete documents.
Some residents also have yet to return home. The Moro Consensus Group noted that 24 of almost 100 barangays affected by the siege are still off-limits to residents as of July 2023. – Rappler.com