MANILA — The master plan for the rehabilitation of the strife-torn Marawi City is now being prepared, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced on Thursday.
In a press briefing at Malacañang, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said the process of creating a master plan for Marawi’s rehabilitation is already ongoing, noting that experts will be utilizing the latest urban planning measures.
“It was done by experts. It will be utilizing the latest in terms of urban planning, (and) it will be very efficient,” he said.
Villar said the rehabilitation of Marawi will not only cover short- and medium-term recovery, but also the longer-term objective of full reconstruction.
“We are ready to mobilize the resources of all agencies so that the rehabilitation of Marawi will be done at the soonest possible time,” Villar said.
Villar said the government is addressing the immediate needs of the evacuees, with the DPWH particularly focused on upgrading the evacuation facilities.
“We’re already implementing the upgrading of the evacuation centers. Since hindi pa kami nakakapasok sa city proper, sa ngayon ang priority is to upgrade the evacuation facilities,” he said.
Villar could not yet provide a detailed assessment of damages to properties and facilities since they could not yet enter the besieged city and the only information at hand are pictures.
“It’s hard to give a specific assessment until we can go inside and check the integrity of the buildings there… Once makapasok na kami sa Marawi, we can have a detailed assessment,” he added.
The DPWH chief also said they will be assisting the Department of Social Welfare and Development with basic amenities in its plan to distribute family-sized tents as temporary shelter for Marawi citizens while the physical reconstruction of the city is being implemented.
According to the latest update, at least 44 civilians and 75 government troops have died since the clashes erupted. Meanwhile, 303 terrorists have been killed. A total of 1,711 civilians have been rescued.
The Duterte administration pledged to allot a budget of PHP20 billion to rebuild Marawi City.
President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Mindanao under martial law after fighting broke out between security forces and members of the Maute terrorist group on May 23.
The fighting started when security forces attempted to arrest Abu Sayyaf Group leader Isnilon Hapilon, who is reportedly the Islamic State (IS) emir in Southeast Asia.