By Apipa P. Bagumbaran
 
MARAWI CITY, June 18 (PIA) — City Mayor Majul Gandamra has denied looting allegations of debris and scrap metals inside the most affected area (MAA) of the city.
 
Rumors circulated in social media accusing the city government of Marawi, Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), and the Philippine Army of looting debris inside the MAA.
 
Gandamra said the disposal of the debris and other scrap materials has undergone a process sanctioned by the Sangguniang Panglungsod through City Ordinance No. 012-09 or the ordinance regulating the sale of debris and mixed metals inside the MAA as a result of the debris management conducted by the TFBM.
 
The mayor emphasized that the debris and scrap are from those houses and properties demolished with the consent of the owners.
 
“Kailangang matanggal ang mga debris sa loob ng MAA dahil we cannot start the full rehabilitation kung nandyan pa ang mga debris. Hindi naman pwedeng basta itatapon na lang yan, kung hindi dapat pakinabangan ng mga taga ground zero,” Gandamra explained adding that the sale through public bidding was the most practical way to dispose of the debris.
 
He clarified that the sale of the debris went through a legal process. It was offered through public bidding and was published thrice in a newspaper with local circulation.
 
The mayor also emphasized that it is not feasible to separate and return the debris to each of the owners of the demolished properties.
 
“Hindi pwedeng e quantify o identify magkano yung makukuha ng bawat isa dahil iba-iba yung mga bahay dyan, mayroong apat na palapag, may one storey, at may gawa lang sa kahoy. Kaya hindi pwedeng sabihin kung ilan ba sa iyo at ilan naman ang mapupunta sa kanya,” Gandamra explained.
 
He said two committees, namely the Disposition Committee and the Trust Fund Committee, were created to manage the disposal of the debris and the proceeds from the sale of the debris.
 
These committees are composed of the city government of Marawi, the TFBM, the National Housing Authority, and a civil society organization represented by Siyap ko Pagtaw, Inc as a third-party monitor.
 
The mayor further stressed that the proceeds will redound to the benefit of his constituents from ground zero.
 
Accordingly, the Trust Fund Committee has not yet decided on the specific projects where the proceeds will be spent. “The Committee will conduct a public consultation. Itatanong natin kung ano ba talaga ang maaring paggamitan nito na papakinabangan ng common people inside the ground zero,” Gandamra added.
 
As of press time, the Disposal Committee has done 12 deliveries to the bid winner. The deliveries were accompanied by representatives from the City General Services Office and Siyap ko Pagtaw.
 
 
Meanwhile, TFBM Field Office Manager Assistant Secretary Felix Castro Jr. assured that all actions inside the MAA went through a specific legal process. (APB/PIA ICIC)