DBM: Palace approves additional P14.5-B disaster funds for Marawi rehab
MANILA, Philippines – An additional P14.5 billion in disaster funds can be used for rebuilding Marawi City – the ground zero of clashes – in the remaining months of 2017.
Malacañang approved the augmentation of the 2017 National Disaster Risk Reduction Funds (NDRRMF) last October 30, budget chief Benjamin Diokno announced on Wednesday, November 8.
Before funds are released, agencies should submit supporting documents to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). (READ: Marawi rehab tops Duque’s agenda in DOH)
"Agencies are now expected to submit their respective budget execution documents to support the release of such funds, especially for budgetary requirements for Pre-Post Conflict Needs Assessment," said Diokno.
The needs-assessment should include housing, health and social welfare, business and livelihood, peace and order, and information management and stategic communications support.
The budget augmentation will be sourced from the savings of the Department of Public Works and Highways from 2016 to 2017, amounting to P10.3 billion and P14.2 billion, respectively.
According to Diokno, around P495 million has already been spent for evacuation and relief of internally displaced persons.
The amount was sourced from the quick response funds of the social welfare, national defense, and health departments.
A total of P3 billion has also been released to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to cover food assistance and hygiene, kitchen, and sleeping kits among others. The funds will also cover DSWD's cash-for-work program, enlisting residents in rehabilitation community work, and operational support.
Some P195 million has also been released to the Department of Public Works and Highways to fund quick response, transitional shelters, and various evacuation centers in Marawi.
Diokno said that about two-thirds of the city can be inhabited again, but the remaining third will have to be redesigned into a "new city".
He noted, however, that expectations need to be managed.
"As far as financing is concerned, there is no problem. But to manage expectations, this will not happen overnight," Diokno said.
In previous statements, the budget chief gave assurances funding is not a concern by the government, but that technical assistance is needed.
The Marawi rehabilitation task force is led by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), with retired army general Eduardo del Rosario as its current head after Vice President Leni Robredo resigned.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared Marawi City liberated as the killing of top Marawi seige terrorists – Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and Maute Group leader Omar Maute – was confirmed by the defense department on October 16. – Rappler.com