Gov't shifts focus to Marawi rehab as residents prepare to come home

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(File photo)

Marawi City (CNN Philippines, October 21) — The government is fast-tracking rehabilitation efforts as military operations wind down in the city.

Once the fighting in Marawi is finally over, the government's priority is to prepare for the return of hundreds of thousands of displaced residents.

Officials said residents, whose houses were not affected by the conflict, may go home starting October 25.

While temporary shelters will be provided for thousands others whose houses have been completely destroyed.

Public Works Secretary Mark Villar on Saturday inspected the site development of a temporary relocation area in Barangay Sagonsongan, about 10 kilometers from the Marawi City proper.

The National Housing Authority said it will initially build about 1,500 temporary shelters, or pre-fabricated houses that will  take about only two days to construct.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is allocating close to ₱200 million pesos to set up the road network, drainage system, and other basic utilities.

Villar also met with military and local officials to discuss plans to repair and reconstruct government infrastructure inside the war zone.

The DPWH is among several government agencies conducting post-conflict needs assessment.

President Rodrigo Duterte in September agreed the ₱50 billion initially pledged by the government is not enough to rebuild Marawi.

Australia has initially pledged ₱1 billion, United States ₱730 million, Thailand ₱100 million, China ₱85 million (with a specified ₱70 million for soldiers wounded in action and ₱15 million for Marawi rehabilitation), and the European Union ₱49 million.