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Massive Marawi rehabilitation set

The government has started to craft a massive rehabilitation plan of war-torn Marawi City amid mounting optimism the conflict will be over soon.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said planned rebuilding efforts will be “comprehensive” and “respectful” of the religious beliefs of the Marawi residents.

“It’s being drawn up, I was able to talk with Congressman Karlo Nograles the other day and he’s the head of the Appropriations Committee, they’re starting to draw up plans,” Abella said during the “Mindanao Hour” briefing in Malacañang yesterday. “It has to be comprehensive and of course, it will be have to be cultural-sensitive, culture sensitive,” he said.

He explained that the government must take cognizance that Marawi is an Islamic city during the rebuilding efforts.

“We have to take cognizance that the rebuilding for example. It has to be along the lines of, along the lines of that which is respectful of their beliefs,” he said.

Abella did not yet say the budget for the rebuilding efforts but said a “joint committee” has been designated to “handle” the planned reconstruction of Marawi.

Asked about the priorities for the rehabilitation plan, Abella said: “It will depend upon the actual joint committee that will be handling the reconstruction. But of course, first will be the clearing and then the rebuilding will follow.”

Armed Forces Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the military hopes to “liberate” Marawi from the clutches of the enemies by Monday.

Padilla said they plan to raise the country’s flag in all areas of Marawi to celebrate the 119th anniversary of Philippine independence next week.

“May we also continue to appeal to our citizens for their prayers for our troops who continue to remain in the battle field,” he said.

“Rest assured, our soldiers are doing their part, they’re doing their best and are continuing on with this effort on the ground to facilitate the liberation of Marawi hopefully by Monday,” he said. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)