Marcos orders streamlined efforts for Marawi recovery

Kristine Daguno-Bersamina - Philstar.com
Marcos orders streamlined efforts for Marawi recovery
This photo taken on May 23, 2021 shows workers walking along a newly paved road past homes which were destroyed in 2017 when Islamic State-inspired Muslim militants laid siege to the southern Philippine city of Marawi, resulting in a five-month campaign that claimed more than 1,000 lives until government troops re-took control.
AFP / Ferdinandh Cabrera

MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said on Saturday that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ordered to expedite the rehabilitation of Marawi City.

Marcos issued Administrative Order No. 14, which aims to institutionalize the recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City while streamlining the functions of various government agencies involved.

The directive, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on December 22, mandates all involved government bodies to expedite and oversee the timely completion of projects in collaboration with local government units.

The AO also directed Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), established in 2017, to wrap up its operations by Dec. 31, 2023, and officially be considered "functus officio" by March 31, 2024.

“In order to reduce delays due to redundant and superfluous bureaucratic layers in the National Government and to accelerate reconstruction and recovery efforts in the City of Marawi and other affected localities, the Administration is actively pursuing the rationalization of the functional structures of government agencies in order to promote efficiency and organizational coherence in the bureaucracy consistent with the Rightsizing policy,” the order read.

“To ensure institutional stability, it is imperative to institutionalize and strengthen the functions of implementing government agencies involved in the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts ni the City of Marawi and other affected localities,” it added.

Marcos specifically delegated responsibilities to the following government agencies:

  • Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to uphold peace and order in Marawi City and affected areas.
  • Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) to oversee the completion of housing projects for affected residents.
  • Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) tasked with coordinating the comprehensive restoration of vital public utilities like water and electricity, and the repair and reconstruction of public buildings and infrastructure.
  • Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assigned to ensure the provision of health services, sanitation, food, and other essential needs of residents.
  • Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) responsible for creating an environment conducive to reviving business and livelihood activities.

Marcos acknowledged TFBM's supervisory role in overseeing programs for Marawi's recovery within the Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program. 

However, he pointed out that despite the TFBM's supervision, it was the government agencies executing the projects, leading to delays attributed to excessive bureaucratic layers within the national government.

Marcos directed TFBM to return the remaining balance of the TFBM Trust Fund to the Office of the President (OP), which was established through a memorandum of agreement between the offices on April 13, 2018. 

TFBM was also instructed to conduct an inventory of its assets and properties, ensure accurate accounting and turnover of funds, settle outstanding obligations, provide a Consolidated Audited Report of Disbursements to the OP by March 31, 2024, and submit a Comprehensive Transition Report to the president.

The Marawi siege, marked by Islamic State-linked militants taking control of the southern city, led to the enforcement of martial law in Mindanao and a five-month-long clash, the longest urban warfare in the Philippines since World War II.

It began with a confrontation on May 23, 2017, during a security operation to apprehend Isnilon Hapilon, a leader of the ISIS-affiliated Abu Sayyaf. This operation prompted the arrival of reinforcements from the radical Islamist organization Maute, escalating the conflict.

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