NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said Monday, October 23, the Provincial Government is leading the “Negros Cares,” a fund drive to help rebuild Marawi City.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared last week that Marawi has been freed from the Maute group and it marks the beginning of the rehabilitation of the war-torn city.
Marañon said that Duterte, during his visit in Bacolod City for the 38th Masskara Festival on Sunday, gave him the go-signal to raise funds and other assistance.
With “Negros Cares,” Marañon said the province will connect with the local churches, private organizations, sugar planters, and anybody who wanted to help.
Marañon appealed to Negrenses to help in any way they can for the Muslim brethren.
“I will talk to the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for authority to spearhead the fund-raising and at the same time encourage local government units to do the same,” the governor said.
“We are not targeting any amount but the bigger the better. The drop-off center would be at the Provincial Capitol and other strategic areas,” he added.
In Bacolod City, officials also expressed their support for the immediate rehabilitation of Marawi.
Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. said Monday the Marawi siege has ended and holistic rehabilitation should start now.
He said the government should start on poverty alleviation, cultural, religion, psycho-social or healing from the traumas of war, education, and among others.
Councilor Caesar Distrito said may the recovery and rehabilitation effort begins as soon as possible so that Marawi will be able to stand again.
“We express our million thanks to our soldiers who made a lot of sacrifices to free our countrymen from the clutches of terrorists,” he said.
“To their families who also suffered for having their loved ones on the verge of danger, and for those whose lives had been lost for this conflict, on both sides,” Distrito added.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on October 24, 2017.
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