Pamayandeg Sa Ranao Residences at Dansalan Phase 1 and 2, Brgy. Kilala, Marawi City (Contributed photo)

MANILA – The Senate has approved the reconstitution of a special committee that will manage the continuous rehabilitation of and compensation for Marawi that was destroyed by a five-month siege in 2017 when Islamic militants occupied the city.

First constituted in the 17th Congress, the committee is tasked to provide full support, assistance, and cooperation to Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM).

Senator Ronald dela Rosa will again lead the special committee, which he handled in the previous Congress.

“Despite the time that has lapsed, the wounds are still fresh, and the memories of such destruction and chaos still haunt us today. Since then, pooled efforts from both the public and the private sector have been put together to rebuild the City of Marawi,” Senate Majority Leader Senator Joel Villanueva said in his sponsorship speech on Monday.

He also cited the accomplishments in the rehabilitation of Marawi City, referring to the July report of the Task Force Bangon Marawi, led by former Housing secretary Eduardo del Rosario, and the enactment of Republic Act No. 11696 or the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act of 2022.

Senator Robinhood Padilla thanked Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri for the assurance that he will bring it up at the first meeting of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).

Padilla previously filed Senate Resolution No. 8 asking the Office of the Executive Secretary to conduct the vetting process for nominees who will compose the compensation board as provided by the law.

"I will give my assurance bilang inyong Senate President na talagang ifa-follow up natin ito sa Executive. At sa unang LEDAC meeting po babanggitin ko po 'yan as part of our priority request sa Executive branch (I give my assurance as your Senate President to follow this up with the Executive Branch. At the first LEDAC meeting, I will mention this as part of our priority request to the executive branch)," Zubiri said in reply to Padilla.

The Marawi rehabilitation efforts went full blast in July 2020, amid the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic, following the completion of the first phase of rehabilitation from November 2017 to October 2018.

The first phase included emergency assistance such as the provision of water, food, clothing, and other basic necessities to displaced families in different evacuation centers, as well as the construction of temporary shelters for displaced families in the most affected area.

The second phase includes debris management efforts and detonation of unexploded bombs within ground zero.

Del Rosario said the rehabilitation in Marawi City is about 72 percent complete as of June.  (With a report from Leonel Abasola/PR)