The government is allotting an initial P5-billion fund for the rehabilitation of Marawi City until the end of the year, a Civil Defense official said on Monday.
Speaking at the regular Mindanao Hour press briefing in Malacañang, Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima said a big part of the fund would be allotted to the relief efforts especially for the internally displaced persons in the city.
“Ang priority diyan ay ‘yung patuloy nating pagbibigay ng relief sa ating IDPs [The priorities of the relief efforts are the (internally displaced persons)] ,” Purisima said.
The defense official added that as of the latest count, there are more than 72,000 IDP families still housed in evacuation centers.
On Monday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the war in Marawi City has finally ended after six months of longstanding battle.
“After 154 days of siege in Marawi with Daesh-inspired Maute-ISIS group, after a week the commander-in-chief declared the liberation of Marawi City, we now announce the termination of combat operations in Marawi City,” Lorenzana told reporters.
“With the liberation of Marawi, our focus now shifts to the enormous and challenging task of rebuilding, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of the Islamic City,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella added in a statement.
Purisima said that the fund will also be used for the construction of transitional shelters for the IDPs.
He added the National Housing Authority (NHA) eyes to build at least 1,100 transitional shelters within the year, saying the displaced persons may start occupying the houses as early as next year.
“Yun ang target nila doon sa unang plano [That’s their target on the first plan]. Of course, this is subject to evaluation, this is subject to revisions as needed dahil ngayon minamadali na at tinatapos na ng DPWH ‘yung site development ng lahat ng transitional shelter sites [because now the DPWH is already rushing and finishing their site development of all the transitional shelter sites]. ‘Yung [the] six areas diyan sa [there in the] transitional shelter sites,” Purisima said.
Purisima also said the government is studying possible livelihood and business opportunities for the IDPS.
“At saka alam naman natin itong transitional shelter site ay transitional, temporary lamang, ngunit bibigyan pa rin natin sila ng sense of community dito sa transitional shelter site [And we know that transitional shelters are just transitional and temporary but we will still give them a sense of community here in the transitional shelters],” he said.
“So nagpaplanong maglagay diyan ng marketplace, maaaring maglagay din diyan ng eskwelahan at health center o medical center [There are also plans of putting a marketplace, school, and health center or medical center],” he added.