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AFP: Marawi on the road to normalcy

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MANILA, Nov. 21 -- Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesperson Major General Restituto Padilla, Jr. assured that Marawi is on the road to normalcy with rehabilitation and clearing operations now progressing.

"We have opened nine barangays for the return of our residents there following the protocol that was established by the local government," the AFP spokesperson said during the Bangon Marawi press briefing in Malacanang on Friday.

Padilla reported, “We are also working on the clearing of 10 more barangays next week and we will turn this over to the local government and to Joint Task Force Bangon Marawi.”

Padilla said the AFP will continue to do this until all improvised explosive devices, traps, unexploded ordnance that may remain in the battle area have been found and addressed.

"The Office of Mayor Majul Gandamra and the city government of Marawi has been leading and facilitating a series of activities that helped our affected communities and brought them back to their respective barangays," Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director-General Harold Clavite added.

Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), also the spokesperson for Task Force Bangon Marawi, said short-term interventions will continue in support of the early recovery needs of the affected population while waiting for the completion of Marawi's Post-Conflict Needs Assessment (PCNA) and the Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP).

"The post-conflict needs assessment in the remaining barangays in Marawi City shall commence soon given the AFP’s recent declaration of additional cleared barangays," Purisima underscored.

Marawi Aid Pledges

Purisima, in the same briefing, disclosed that various world leaders who attended the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Manila have pledged to assist in the Marawi rehabilitation.

The Japanese government committed to donating 1.5-billion yen for the maritime safety and reconstruction of Marawi and sacks of rice to the affected population.

China, on the other hand, pledged an additional 1.15-billion pesos in grants on top of the 47 heavy equipment it earlier donated to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The United States also committed an amount worth US$14.3-million for Marawi rehabilitation and humanitarian purposes.

The Australian government, aside from the previous relief assistance it provided, will deliver more relief supplies amounting to 1.5-million Australian dollars.

Also, Purisima reported that the city government of Davao and Taguig provided P5-million assistance each to the local government of Marawi City.

The Joint Task Force Bangon Marawi is the clearinghouse for all Marawi-related donations.

"So kahit dumeretso ‘yung certain government, certain organization, or certain private sector group, dumeretso sila sa isang agency or sa isang local government unit, sasabihin dapat ‘yan sa Task Force because the Task Force is the accountable agencies, the accountable organization," Purisima said. (PCO-Content)