Press Release
September 30, 2019



SEN. DELA ROSA: Two years after the end of the longest siege by armed fighters in the Philippines, the Islamic City of Marawi remains in ruins. Our Maranao brothers and sisters continue to struggle for access to basic services, viable livelihood opportunities and permanent shelter; and to rise from the horrors of terrorism and devastation.

Marawi City has a special place in my heart. Mindanao State University in Marawi City is my alma mater. Kaya masakit sa aking puso na makita ang Marawi na walang buhay. When I was still PNP Chief, I visited our troops who were fighting against the terrorists during the battle in Marawi. Nadurog ang aking puso nang makita ko ang isang SAF officer na may tama ng bala sa leeg at likod, ang tanging nasabi niya sa akin ay gusto niyang mapalapit sa kanyang pamilya. Hindi naman dapat nangyari ito kung hindi dahil sa ilang masasamang loob na gustong sumira sa bayan natin.

I myself saw the devastation made to the only Islamic City in the Philippines. It was indeed heartbreaking and tear-jerking to see the ravages of war. Many innocent lives were lost; many dreams were shattered; many opportunities and resources were wasted.

As a Mindanaoan and now a Senator of the Republic, I feel that it is my responsibility and calling to help and be part of rebuilding not only the City of Marawi but also the lives of our Maranao brothers and sisters.

Today, the Special Committee on Marawi City Rehabilitation is here to find the answers and solutions to this seemingly overwhelming task.

The Committee is mandated under Resolution No. 8, approved by the Senate, to study, review, assess, examine, investigate and inquire into the matters relating to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi and introduce immediate legislative intervention.

The key areas of concern are the following:

a. Extent of damage to the properties, infrastructure, and facilities, such as roads, bridges, schools, hospital, buildings, and other structures in Marawi City

b. Estimated cost of construction and rehabilitation of the damaged properties, infrastructure, and facilities;

c. Actions that may be necessary for the immediate post-disaster recovery, rehabilitation, and normalization of the community; and

d. Such other matters that may be necessary for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi City.

We will look into issues and approaches to multiply our competencies, resources and capacities in order to expedite the reconstruction and recovery of Marawi City. Let us identify gaps in policies and propose new legislations if needed. We will ensure that the participation and best interest of the people are thoughtfully considered, promoted and protected in all phases of our rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts. I always believe that citizen participation is crucial in determining the needs for the recovery and rehabilitation of communities. There must be inclusivity in all levels of planning, implementation and monitoring to ensure that all components of an integrated development are being addressed, not just decent and adequate housing, but also the provision of safe water, electricity, livelihood and economic opportunities. The only way for us to build peaceful, safe and nurturing communities free of discrimination, political manipulation, oppression and a culture of entitlement, is when we can immediately address the vulnerabilities and desperation of homeless families.

I am with this government in its commitment to securing just and lasting peace, not only in Mindanao but for the whole Philippines

Let us now hear from my colleagues. (if they have opening statements, if none, proceed to recognize the resource persons for their presentations)...

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