His Excellency Bishop Edwin de la Pena of the Prelature of Marawi in the southern Philippines has welcomed the pledges from regional leaders who attended this year’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit to help rebuild the city.  His Grace Bishop Edwin said that the people of the city will be forever grateful for all the help that they receive.

As reported by ucanews.com, His Excellency Bishop Edwin remarked that “Gratitude is such a very deep and solid bedrock for human relations among nations and communities both for giver and receiver.” Among those who extended financial help to the city was Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia, who turned over to social welfare office about US$1.2 million worth of supplies and funds. Turnbull said that “We have helped the people of the Philippines with the war in Marawi, now we’re determined to help you win peace and that’s our commitment.”

A five-month conflict between government forces and Islamic State-inspired gunmen displaced close to 400,000 people and left the predominantly Muslim city devastated. The rebuilding of the city has already started after the Philippine military re-opened the city to civilian residents last month.