House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo wants to speed up the rehabilitation of Marawi City in order to make the residents of the city ruined by terrorists who masqueraded as Islamist freedom fighters feel that the government has not abandoned them.
Arroyo made the pitch when she attended the meeting of the newly created Committee on Disaster Management chaired by Rep. Geraldine Roman of Bataan to personally ensure that the rehabilitation efforts at Marawi move forward at the soonest possible time.
As a priority agenda, the Committee discussed updates on its upcoming ocular inspection in Marawi City set on Dec. 10, 2018. House Members, including Roman as well as Representatives Ansaruddin Abdul Malik Adiong of Lanao del Sur, Makmod Mending Jr., of AMIN party-list, Ann Hofer of Zamboanga Sibugay, Cristina Roa-Puno of Antipolo City, Marlyn Alonte of Laguna, Victoria Isabel Noel, of AnWaray Party-list, Vini Nola Ortega of Abono Party-list, Mauyag Papandayan Jr. of Lanao del Sur and Frederick Siao of Iligan City will take part in the visit.
The legislators will visit the resettlement area as directed by Speaker Arroyo in the previous hearing. Rep. Cheryl Deloso-Montalla explained that this will determine the current status of the proposed housing development in Marawi.
The relocation sites are intended for the permanent housing and the temporary shelters of the residents who were victimized by the armed conflict in the city.
Roman said that the 10 House Members expressed their concerns on the psychosocial effects of the war on the victims, as well as on the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the condition of their relief distribution in the area.
Speaker Arroyo then directed to request for a DSWD representative during the scheduled inspection.
Roman said that the Committee has been coordinating with the Army in Marawi on the security details of their visit.
She expressed hopes that this will be instrumental in the restoration of the city.
“We just hope that this will be a very productive visit. This will open our eyes so that we can take further action and monitor the progress of the construction of the permanent houses and other aspects of the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the city of Marawi,” she said.
In addition, the Committee also approved the substitution of House Resolution 2211, authored by Rep. Deogracias Victor Savellano of Ilocos Sur), which urged all government agencies to affirm their commitment and support to facilitate the rebuilding of the cities, municipalities, and barangays in Regions 1, 2, and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) severely affected by Typhoon Ompong and to immediately address operational concerns on infrastructure, agri-industry, and social engineering.
Rep. Winston Castelo of Quezon City noted that the measure has already undergone numerous public hearings and deliberations. He pronounced that the Committee finds it a valid resolution.
“This will send a strong message that the government is hands-on in trying to rebuild the CAR Region, as it was devastated by Typhoon Ompong. With the collective effort of all the line government agencies as embodied in the resolution, we will be able to zero in like a laser beam all government resources towards this goal,” he said.