By Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development

MARAWI CITY, Oct. 19 – Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Chairman Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario described as a symbol of “faith, commitment and resilience” the restoration of the iconic Grand Mosque inside the city’s ground zero which was inaugurated by no less than President Rodrigo Roa Duterte recently.

The President, along with Secretary Del Rosario, Senator Bong Go and other top government officials, led the inauguration of the Grand Mosque last Saturday as part of the fourth anniversary of the liberation of Marawi City from the Daesh-inspired Maute terrorist group.

“The reopening of the Grand Mosque is a symbol of faith, commitment and resiliency,” declared Secretary Del Rosario, who took the initiative to reconstruct several mosques damaged or destroyed during the 2017 siege.

“The strong faith and resilience of our Maranaw brothers and sisters, and the full commitment of the Duterte administration to finish the rehabilitation,” he added.

Through the utilization of private developers’ compliance to balance housing program, the TFBM managed to rebuild, so far, five mosques – namely the Grand Mosque, Masjid Disomangcop, Masjid Darussalam, Marinaut Mosque and the White Mosque.

Three other religious sites are undergoing repairs.

Meanwhile, the historic Bato Ali Dansalan Mosque, where dozens of hostages were held at the height of the five-month siege, was demolished due to heavy damages and now being reconstructed.

Secretary Del Rosario, who also heads the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, stressed that the rebuilding of mosques is in compliance to the President’s directive to prioritize religious sites in the ongoing massive government-led rehabilitation.

According to President Duterte, repairing Islamic houses of worship damaged during the siege is very significant to the Maranaos as it plays a crucial role in their social healing.

“As these mosques hold great significance in the daily lives of the Maranaos, we not only rebuild the structures but likewise contribute to the social healing process of the internally displaced persons. And that is why we continue to take steps in making sure that we rebuild them,” Secretary Del Rosario said.

The TFBM Field Office said that the re-opening of the Grand Mosque to the public will be dependent on the administrators and the Marawi City government. (DHSUD)