By Apipa Bagumbaran
QUEZON CITY–Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Chairman Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario has called on government critics to spare the ongoing rehabilitation of Marawi City from their “vicious politics and vested interests.”
Secretary Del Rosario made the call during a virtual press conference on Thursday amid fresh attempts to discredit the government efforts to rehabilitate Marawi through false claims and disinformation.
“To say that nothing has been accomplished after four years of hard work is not only an outrageous lie but an outright insult to our Maranaw brothers and sisters who have all been exerting full support to the city’s rehabilitation,” the TFBM chief said.
“To our critics, please spare them and Marawi City from your vested interests and vicious politics. If you mean well as alleged Maranaw leaders, be part of the solution and not be part of the problem by spreading unfounded and deceitful statements,” he added.
The TFBM chief, who was joined by Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra during the event, branded the latest attempts to discredit the government as “politically motivated.” He countered that the rehabilitation effort remains on track.
“Contrary to what is being peddled by critics, much has been accomplished one year after the actual reconstruction of public infrastructures, particularly in the former “ground zero” composed of 24 barangays. By this time, the completion rate is about 68%,” the TFBM chief stressed.
According to Secretary Del Rosario, who also heads the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, the government, through the TFBM and its 56 implementing agencies, has been strictly abiding by its methodology in carrying out the rebuilding process.
He also clarified that despite disruptions to the city’s rehabilitation brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and bad weather, the TFBM and its member agencies have been religiously working to fast-track the completion of their respective projects.
Secretary Del Rosario cited various projects inside and outside the Most Affected Area that had been completed such as a barangay complex, health station, the Disomangcop Mosque and hundreds of permanent shelters, as well as bridges that were damaged during the five-month battle between government forces and Daesh-inspired terrorists four years ago.
The TFBM chief likewise disclosed that the construction of road networks is slated for completion by September this year, noting that it will signal the start of return of residents from Sectors 4 to 7 to rebuild their respective homes.
For his part, Gandamra lauded the national government, particularly the TFBM, for its tireless efforts and commitment in rehabilitating the city.
He likewise belied allegations from some camps that the government is doing nothing to fast-track the return of internally displaced persons in Marawi. “Ako po ay naniniwala na ang gobyerno ay puspusang ginagawa ang kanilang tungkulin,” the local chief executive said.
“Hindi po dahil ako’y nasa gobyerno. I’m also representing the sentiment of my people. Kaya isa po ako sa makakapagsabi na ito ang mga totoong nangyayari on the ground,” he added. Philippine Information Agency