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Mayor estimates Marawi rehabilitation to take 3 years

Smoke rises from the "Main Battle Area" where pro-Islamic group militants are making a final stand amid a massive military offensive with government troops in Marawi city in southern Philippines Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. Two days after President Rodrigo Duterte declared the liberation of Marawi city, the military announced the killing of more suspected militants in the continuing military offensive. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — The rehabilitation of war-torn city Marawi may take three years or longer, according to the city’s mayor Majul Usman Gandamra.

“Sa ating timeline (In our timeline), the minimum is three years onward,” Gandamra said in an interview on CNN Philippines' "The Source."

“Talagang sa laki ng pinsala ho ‘yung destruction talagang pag nakita mo I dont think matatapos natin within three years but at least may timeline (With the extent of damage of the destruction, if you see it, I don’t think we can finish it within three years but at least there is a timeline),  he added.

Gandamra’s statement came two days after President Rodrigo Duterte declared besieged Marawi City freed from terrorists. He said the liberation marks the start of the rehabilitation.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said the Department of Budget and Management has allocated "about P5 billion" for the support of evacuees, reconstruction of infrastructure and repair of bridges in Marawi this year.

READ: P5 billion alloted for Marawi rehabilitation this year

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He added that the government is looking at a budget of P10 billion for the rehabilitation of the city in 2018.

For Lorenzana, P50 billion is not enough to rehabilitate Marawi because of the destruction.

Col. Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Task Group Ranao, said the local government is already conducting clearing operations within the city to prepare for the return of the displaced residents.

Among the phases of operations being made are the retrieval of properties, restoration of governance, barangay mapping, profiling, restoration of power system water and facilities or utilities.

Brawner may indefinitely return on October 26 after all the phases of operations are finished. 

ALSO READ: Scenarios drawn from death of Marawi siege leaders

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