The People's Republic of China donated 47 sets of heavy equipment, including bulldozers and excavators, to aid in the rehabilitation of besieged Marawi City.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar on Tuesday announced the arrival of the equipment and said the government is expecting seven more sets to arrive from China, as part of the country's Emergency Humanitarian Assistance Program.
The equipment from China includes eight sets each of excavators, wheel loaders, dump trucks, and cement mixers, as well as five sets each of compactors, track-type tractors, bulldozers and a container van, according to DPWH.
The DPWH, meanwhile, reported the accomplishment of site development works for six areas of transitory houses in Marawi City that could accommodate 1,100 families.
Villar said road concreting in the development area will be completed by November this year.
"Our priority is to make sure that roads and bridges are in place such that there is smooth access of (sic) Marawi and its nearby towns," Villar said.
The DPWH is the sub-committee lead agency for reconstruction under Task Force Bangon Marawi, which was created by President Rodrigo Duterte to lead rehabilitation efforts in the war-torn city.
The DPWH's primary role under this capacity is the "immediate repair, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of national roads, bridges, public schools and other government buildings" in Marawi City.
Other members of the inter-agency task force include the Chief-of-Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Budget and Management, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Health, the Secretary of Information and Technology, the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, the Secretary of Science and Technology.
Task Force Bangon Marawi is chaired by the Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana while Villar is vice chairman.
The task force on Monday sent out five teams to assess the damage wrought by the four-month battle between Maute terrorists and government forces in the city's 24 barangays. —Nicole-Anne C. Lagrimas/ALG, GMA News