Task Force Bangon Marawi: 6,400 IDPs going home this week

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 31) — Over 6,000 people displaced by the five-month long Marawi crisis can now return to their homes.

"In at least nine barangays, beginning... Sunday until November 4, Saturday, there will be around 6,400 individuals who will be allowed to return," Task Force Bangon Marawi spokesperson Kristoffer Purisima told CNN Philippines' The Source.

The number is only a fraction of an estimated total of 359,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Purisima previously made the announcement during a press briefing on Friday, where he announced that returning residents should have identification cards.

"To ensure that the returning IDPs are legitimate Marawi City residents, ID cards are being issued by their respective barangays based on available data," Purisima said on Friday.

Related: Thousands of evacuees return to Marawi

Clearing operations in the war-torn city carry on even after the fighting between military troops and ISIS-linked Maute Group fighters ended on October 23.

The military is tasked with ensuring that each of the buildings are clear of booby traps or improvised explosive devices that might have been planted by Maute fighters.

Over the weekend, two soldiers died during clearing operations in 23 vital buildings within the main battle area. Foxholes and home-made bombs were made in this area as terrorists upped their defensive position while fighting.

This is why Purisima maintains that other IDPs cannot return to their houses yet.

"This is not an ordinary disaster in the sense that after a typhoon, we can immediately go in or the residents may immediately return. This involves the safety... of the civilians because we have to ensure that the areas they will return to... [have] no hostilities there," said Purisima.

"So it's really a very complicated or layered situation but we're responding to it as fast as we can," he added.

In a statement on Tuesday, Sen. Nancy Binay called on the military to hurry with its clearing operations so rehabilitation efforts could begin. She urged them to bring bomb squads to assist in the task.

"I call on the authorities, especially the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police na pabilisin ang clearing operations sa loob ng mga apektadong barangay... This way, ang mabilis na pagtatapos ng clearing ay mas mapapaaga ang simula ng rebuilding ng lungsod," she said.

(Translation: I call on the authorities, especially the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, to speed up clearing operations in affected barangays... This way, the faster clearing will help us start early in rebuilding the city.)

The extent of the damage in Marawi City has yet to be fully evaluated. Task Force Bangon Marawi has assessed 49 out of 96 barangays, and is completing a report on damages on losses.

However, the full assessment cannot be completed until clearing operations are finished. Once complete, the task force will be able to suggest a figure for necessary costs to rehabilitate Marawi, as well as a time frame.

"As for the main battle area, we still have to wait for the clearing operations to conclude on the part of AFP. Once we're given the go signal, we'll already proceed to the main battle area for the assessment," said Purisima.

The government is proposing a P10-billion budget for Marawi rehabilitation next year, while P5 billion is earmarked this year. Purisima maintains that this is "barely enough for rehabilitation and recovery."

The budget comes on top of aid, donations, and pledges promised by other countries and private personalities.

Foreign assistance has arrived from Canada, China, Germany, Korea, India, Thailand, Singapore, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management.

More pledges are also coming from Australia, Japan, Asian Development Bank, the European Union, United Nations Development Programme, USAID, and the World Bank.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Gerg Cahiles contributed to this report.