Senate finance committee allots P10B for Marawi rehabilitation in 2018
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate finance committee has allotted P10 billion for the rehabilitation of Marawi City in 2018.
Senator Loren Legarda, committee chair, said on Thursday, October 5, that the Senate stood “firm” in its position that the budget for the rehabilitation of the war-torn city should be increased.
"Speaking of Marawi, we support the move of the House to provide for the rehabilitation of the city, but we were firm in our stand that the budgetary allocation should be increased," Legarda said in her sponsorship speech.
“Thus, in the the light of Marawi City’s current situation, we are making available P10 billion of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRM) Fund for 2018 for the city’s quick recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation,” she added.
This, she said, is on top of the P5 billion given for 2017 from the Contingent Fund and funds of different government agencies. The Department of Budget and Management earlier said they are allotting P10 billion for 2018. (READ: DBM to release P5 billion for Marawi rehab in 2017)
Aside from this, the Senate committee is also eyeing a P500-million subsidy for a loan facility for Marawi residents through the Land Bank of the Philippines. This is meant for the residents’ reconstruction of their damaged houses.
“In a new special provision, we specify that such loans will be free of interest, but the loanable amount is limited to P2 million per household and the Land Bank may charge the borrower an administrative cost for processing the loan,” Legarda said.
The panel also allocated P5 million for “cultural mapping of the intangible and tangible heritage” of the Mindanao State University in the city, after the ongoing war against the Maute group damaged "memories and materials."
“We hope that this process of heritage mapping and its intended outputs can hasten the psychological healing of the affected populace and strengthen our cultural bonds with our fellow Muslim Filipinos. These budgets go with our fervent prayer that we may immediately see hope, dignity, and peace restored in Marawi City and other affected areas,” Legarda said.
On June 28, President Rodrigo Duterte created an inter-agency task force to take charge of the recovery of Marawi City, the ground zero of clashes between local terrorist groups and government forces. (READ: Marawi battle zone: Urban warfare challenges PH military)
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to create a "master plan" for the rehabilitation efforts. Public Works Secretary Mark Villar serves as the vice chairperson of Task Force Bangon Marawi while National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is designated chairman.
Duterte earlier ordered that P20 billion ($394.84 million) be set aside for the rehabilitation program. (READ: What evacuees can expect from gov't when they return to Marawi) – Rappler.com