Palace: Duterte satisfied with pace of Marawi rehab but faster would be better

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Marawi City
In this April 1, 2018 photo, residents on top of their jeepney take photos of destroyed buildings during a visit to their homes at the main battle area in Marawi City.
AFP / Ted Aljibe, File

MANILA, Philippines — Despite criticism that the rebuilding of Marawi is moving slowly, President Rodrigo Duterte is satisfied with the rehabilitation of the conflict-ravaged city but wants the process to be faster, Malacañang said Monday.

It has been three years since the government declared the liberation of Marawi from Islamic-State-linked terrorists but some sectors complain about the alleged slow implementation of projects intended to rebuild the city.

The Marawi Reconstruction Conflict Watch, a group that monitors the progress of the rehabilitation efforts, said most of the residents have not been allowed to return to their homes and thousands remain in shelters and housing projects in dire conditions.

The group also claimed that "there is no real liberation to speak of" because the progress of the rehabilitation is slow and funds for the projects are lacking.

RELATED: Marawi rehab 'on track' to finish next year

Asked during a press briefing whether Duterte is satisfied with the rehabilitation of Marawi, presidential spokesman Harry Roque replied: "Let's just say that we are satisfied but the president, of course, would appreciate if it could be hastened."

Roque said he would ask Human Settlements and Urban Development Secretary Eduardo del Rosario about concerns that some Marawi residents are still prevented from returning to their homes.

About 1,000 terrorists from the Maute group and more than 160 soldiers and policemen died during the Marawi siege, the longest urban war in the Philippines since World War II.

The five-month siege, which started in May 2017, prodded Duterte to declare martial law in the entire island of Mindanao for more than two years. About 360,000 people were displaced because of the conflict, according to government data.

Del Rosario previously said the government aims to finish 90% of the Marawi projects by December next year. The funding requirement for the rehabilitation of Marawi is about P60.5 billion.

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