MANILA: A woman works in a vegetable garden on the outskirts of Marawi where the Philippine government built 50 temporary housing units for people displaced by fighting in the southern city, Nov. 21, 2017.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) called Friday on the Philippines to make a serious effort to rebuild and rehabilitate Marawi, where a large section remains uninhabitable nearly three months after the military freed the southern city from Islamic State-backed militants.
While the Philippine economy was expected to keep growing overall in 2018, the status of the rehabilitation and reconstruction of war-shattered Marawi could affect the upward trend, Takehiko Nagao, president of the Manila-based multilateral lending agency, told reporters. Nagao said ADB was worried about Marawi, where the government has not allowed all of its 200,000 people to return from evacuation camps as assessment studies were being conducted and troops were clearing the city of booby traps left behind by the militants.
Now (is) the time to make a serious effort for speedy reconstruction and rehabilitation,” of the city, Nagao said, adding that the lender was sending advisers and consultants to the ground to assess sectors where help was needed most. Shortly after the government declared the five-month battle of Marawi over in October, ADB pledged more than U.S. $5 million (252 million pesos) toward assessing the needs of the once prosperous city to help it get back on its feet. The Philippine government earlier chose ADB as the lead foreign donor to help rebuild the city. Other financial institutions including the World Bank pledged support. Nagao did not disclose more details about the upcoming trip of advisers to Marawi.