Several groups of internally displaced persons (IDP) have opposed the confirmation of Eduardo del Rosario as Housing Secretary, citing his alleged poor track record in the government’s effort to rehabilitate the war-torn city of Marawi in Mindanao.
As a result, the Committee on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday suspended the deliberations with Senator Francis Tolentino using time constraint as a reason.
Del Rosario is a Philippine Army veteran.
Teamwork for Marawi Board Member Padoman Paporo presented a joint sworn statement opposing Del Rosario’s appointment which was also signed by Cairon Dimatingcal of the Community-based Human Rights Monitors, Sittie Johara Mamacotao of Sowara Miyamagoyag and Dayalyn Acoon Tingaraan from the private school owners association in Marawi.
Paporo said the appointed Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development (DHSUD) secretary had promised the completion of the rehabilitation of Marawi in 2018. No significant developments are happening in Marawi until today, the group claimed.
As of June 2020, she stated that there are only three ground-breaking ceremonies for the projects inside Marawi’s most affected areas (MAA).
She claimed conflict of interest on Del Rosario’s part as he is “attempting to serve” as DHSUD Secretary and Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) chairperson at the same time. Yet, the official could not fulfill his duties to provide temporary shelters for the IDP.
“He was mentioning projects, but these were in the less affected areas. Those are outside the MAA. There is gross negligence on his part which amounts to gross neglect of duty.
You can just imagine a total of P4.4 billion for Marawi Rehabilitation have been reverted to the national treasury whereas the IDP continue to suffer,” she said.
Paporo asserted that Marawi’s rehabilitation is similar to the government’s other big-ticket projects and should not be delayed.
“He has the sole responsibility to do the Marawi rehabilitation. But what did he do? He doesn’t have discipline and control over the 56 line agencies,” she added.
Del Rosario denied conflict of interest in leading the DHSUD and the ad hoc committee TFBM.
“Being in the Housing Department actually supports and putting premium in the actual rehabilitation of the Marawi City. More so in the temporary and permanent shelter construction,” he explained.
He added that it is President Rodrigo Duterte’s prerogative to appoint the head of an ad hoc committee.
Del Rosario also refuted Paporo’s claim that he promised several completion of the projects in 2018, saying he generally stated that IDP may return during the first quarter of 2021 following the master development plan.
He only informed the IDP that they may apply for a building permit to obtain clearance from the Office of Building Official and enter Marawi by July 2019, he added.
Del Rosario also said that there are 10 projects that are being constructed in Marawi’s MAA, adding that Paporo’s allegations were “unfair and not accurate.”
During his presentation, Del Rosario mentioned the construction of three bridges, 24 barangay complex, Grand Padian Market, Peace Memorial Park, Marawi Museum, four-story buildings, as some of the infrastructure projects that are currently under construction within Marawi’s MAA.
Del Rosario also informed the CA panel that P5 billion is allotted for the Marawi rehabilitation for 2021 under the budget proposal submitted by the Executive Department.
There are no Marawi Rehabilitation funds used for the government’s COVID-19 response, the Housing official said.
He is set to face the panel again on Wednesday.