MANILA – Senators Ronald Dela Rosa and Francis Tolentino recalled the bravery of everyone involved in the Marawi City liberation five years ago and vowed support for continuing recovery efforts.
Dela Rosa, who chairs the Senate Special Committee on Marawi City Rehabilitation and Victims' Compensation, said they will always give utmost importance to the needs of Marawi residents in rebuilding their lives.
"Let us not forget the resiliency of our Maranao brothers and sisters who continue to patiently wait for the full rehabilitation of their beloved city," he said in a statement on Tuesday. "Our task will not end with the full rehabilitation of the city, we will continue to march on towards a developed, progressive and peaceful Marawi City."
Tolentino recognized anew the 169 government troops who perished and the 1,800 others who were hurt during the battle to reclaim Marawi City from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-inspired Maute group.
"Limang taon na ang nakalipas noong tayo mismo ang pumunta sa ground zero sa paglunsad ng rehabilitasyon. Hinding hindi ko malilimutan ang nasaksihan kong mapait na kalagayan ng ating mga kapatid sa Marawi (Five years have passed since I last visited the ground zero during the start of the rehabilitation. I will never forget the tragedy suffered by the people in Marawi)," he said.
Tolentino said he will not only continue to support the Marawi rehabilitation but also the fight against violence and terrorism.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) recently announced that the national government has allotted PHP1 billion to compensate displaced persons and victims who lost their properties during the siege.
DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, a Maranao, said the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Fund has been included in the proposed PHP5.268-trillion 2023 national budget, lumped under the PHP31-billion National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund or the calamity fund.
“The Marcos administration thinks that, apart from the rehabilitation of infrastructure, priority should also be given to the people of Marawi. This is the first time that the budget was allotted solely for victim compensation,” Pangandaman said in a previous statement.
Task Force Bangon Marawi and its implementing agencies and development partners for the commemoration said livelihood and skills training workshops, peace conversations, relief distributions, psychosocial support activities, and forums are slated until October 21.
Other highlights of the commemoration are the inauguration of Tuca Marinaut Barangay Complex, the 15th barangay facility with a madrasah (school) and health center constructed in the most affected area of the city, and torogan (resting place) in Barangay Sagonsongan that will serve as the office of traditional leaders in Lanao del Sur, both scheduled on October 21. (PNA)