MANILA, Philippines – Now that Marawi City is liberated, the government is ready to roll out with the rehabilitation of the Islamic City which was left in shambles because of the 5-month war.
“Marawi City is now militant-free and is ready for rehabilitation after the death of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute,” said budget chief Benjamin Diokno said on Wednesday, October 18.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) alloted P5 billion for the rehabilitation of the war-torn city in 2017, to be sourced from the augmented National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund.
“We have set aside P5 billion this year. (The budget) will be sufficient for the last 10 weeks of the post-conflict needs of Marawi,” he said.
Following a multi-year scheme, P10 billion will be released in 2018 as budget for 2019 is yet to be determined.
Diokno said, however, that the government still has no final rehabilitation plan for Marawi City.
The budget chief also said though he welcomed foreign financial assistance, funding was not a concern for the government. (READ: Does the Philippines have enough funds to deal with disasters?)
“What we really need is technical assistance. Funding is not a concern for us. I think we can manage. If there are some foreign donors, they are welcome but we will not need to strain on financing,” he said.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Diokno said another way to finance the reconstruction of Marawi City was through selling of patriotic bonds, which will be issued starting the first quarter of 2018.
“As far as the Marawi bond is concerned, we will probably issue it early next year, in January,” the budget chief said.
In August, the finance department directed the Bureau of Treasury to study the possible issuance of P30 billion-worth of debt securities to help fund the city’s rehabilitation.
Details into the patriotic bond will be finalized by the finance department, Diokno said.
Diokno’s briefing comes a day after President Rodrigo Duterte declared that Marawi City has been liberated from terror elements.
The killing of top Marawi seige terrorists Abu Sayyaf subleader Isnilon Hapilon and Maute Group leader Omar Maute was confirmed by the defense department on Monday, October 16. – Rappler.com
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