Philippines government to allocate USD 204m to reconstruct war-torn Marawi City

The ongoing-battle has already killed 138 terrorists, 58 soldiers and 21 civilians and several residents have fled the city.

11 Philippine govt soldiers killed in military air strike on Marawi militants
Smoke billowing from a burning building is seen as government troops continue their assault on insurgents from the Maute group, who have taken over large parts of Marawi City, Philippines June 1, 2017. Reuters

The Philippines government is preparing to allocate USD 204 million to reconstruct, recover and rehabilitate the war-torn Marawi City, which is also known as the Islamic City in the Philippines.

Dubbed as "Bangon Marawi" the war recovery program will be led by three government agencies – the Department of National Defense (DND), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Education (DepED), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Bangon means "Rise" in Filipino national language.

Presidential spokesperson, Ernesto Abella, said that President Rodrigo Duterte assured that he is concerned for the city and he wants to ensure normalcy to be restored, so that people can once again lead a normal life.

The budget and corresponding list or projects is now being reviewed by the President's Office of the Executive Secretary and President Duterte is expected to issue an executive order on how to utilise the budget for the City's rehabilitation.

Marawi has more than 200,000 people and almost the same number fled the city as a result of the fierce gun battle between 400 heavily armed terrorists and thousands of Philippines foot soldiers. The first exchanges of gunfire was reported on May 23 and continues as of today in spite of thes Philippines military using airstrikes to destroy terrorists' positions.

The AFP said, the attack of Marawi was an attempt to capture the city, similar to what they did in November 2016 while capturing the town hall of Butig town in Lanao del Sur province.

Also in the list to implement the Bangon Marawi program is the Engineering Brigade of the Philippines military, which has vast experience in introducing infrastructure projects in warn torn communities.

The ongoing-battle has already killed 138 terrorists, 58 soldiers and 21 civilians and more than a hundred thousands residents of Marawi refused to return home unless the government assures that their city is safe.

The Philippines military named the Maute Group and the Abu Sayyaf Group behind the terror attack in Marawi City. The Philippines government also issued arrest warrants to nab suspected spies supporting the terror groups, which pledge allegiance to ISIS group in the Middle East.