MANILA – The Presidential Communications and Operations Office or PCOO with Task Force Bangon Marawi have recently organized a forum to raise public awareness for the government’s commitment on rebuilding the besieged city of Marawi City.
The forum, held on August 4, in Manila also gave updates and discussed the comprehensive inter-agency effort to re-build Marawi and nearby localities. In his welcome remarks, PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar, said: “We are gathered here to present the reality of a place where its people immediately and rapidly fled from their homes because of the actual, unexpected occurrence of a violent terrorist invasion. We intend through this forum to make the public more seriously aware of the government’s work on the recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of Marawi City.”
Secretary Andanar was referring to the local ISIS militants who occupied Marawi and fighting security forces since May 23. The city sustained significant damage to its public infrastructure as well as private properties, and thousands of residents were displaced following weeks of armed conflict between government forces and the terrorist group, whose members included the notorious Abu Sayyaf and other extremist organizations.
Due to the widespread destruction of properties and loss of lives, President Rodrigo Duterte created last June the inter-agency Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) through Administrative Order (AO) No. 3. Among the functions of Task Force Bangon Marawi is to develop and implement a comprehensive rehabilitation and recovery program based on a post-conflict needs assessment.
Composed of 23 various government agencies and offices, the AO directed Task Force members to form themselves into five sub-committees, namely, Reconstruction, Housing, Health and Social Welfare, Business and Livelihood, and Peace and Order for the effective implementation of President Duterte’s order.
Additional sub-committees were also formed to serve as support groups and these are the Finance and Resource Mobilization sub-committee co-chaired by the Department of Budget and Management and the National Economic and Development Authority, the Legal Support team led by the Department of National Defense, and the Strategic Communications and Information Management group headed by the PCOO.
A series of video presentations were played to introduce Task Force Bangon Marawi and its sub-committee members. Also explained in the presentation were TFBM’s four priorities: reduction/elimination of hardships of internally displaced persons, improvement of systems that includes setting up of convenient checkpoints, working with the doables, and the conduct of sectoral dialogues.
Attended by government officials, private sector and other sectoral representatives, and members of the local and international media, the forum laid down the government’s plans and courses of actions designed to ensure the restoration of peace and order and business and livelihood activities in Marawi.
An open discussion was held and participated in by Task Force Bangon Marawi and local government officials led by Undersecretary Gloria Jumamil-Mercado of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary; Department of Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Rafael Yabut; Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary Hope Hervilla; Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Austere Panadero; Defense Undersecretary Cesar Yano; Defense Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima of the Office of Civil Defense; Marawi City Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra; and Mary Ann Adiong, a representative of Lanao del Sur Vice Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr., as panelists.
Among the topics tackled during the panel discussion were the cash for work program, conditional cash transfer, and other relief operations. Joining Secretary Andanar who spoke in the forum were Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. and Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo. (PCOO)
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