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Lawmakers raise over P6 million for Marawi rehabilitation

MANILA, Philippines – Legislators from the House of Representatives raised a total of P6.575 million to help the government's rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City. 

Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo turned over the legislators' donation to the Congressional Spouses Foundation Incorporated (CSFI) in a ceremony held at the Speaker's Social Hall at the Batasang Pambansa on Monday, October 1.  

Arroyo gave to the CSFI a giant check representing the first P6.075 million from the lawmakers, as well as another P500,000 in cash.

The CSFI, whose president is Arroyo's daughter Luli Arroyo Bernas, will coordinate with Task Force Bangon Marawi for the utilization of the P6.575-million donation. (WATCH: Marawi after one year – a sea of destruction)

Leyte 1st District Representative Yedda Romualdez, chairperson of the House committee on accounts, said the fund was sourced from the salaries of lawmakers. The average contribution was at P5,000, but other legislators gave around P10,000 to P20,000 each.

It was under the term of ousted speaker and Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez when the House created a trust fund for Marawi City. During Alvarez's time, the House raised P13 million.

On May 23, 2017, government troops clashed with homegrown terrorists from the Maute Group and a faction of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Marawi, sparking a months-long war that destroyed the city. 

President Rodrigo Duterte declared Marawi City liberated from terrorists in October 2017. 

But reconstruction efforts have since been hit by several delays, with the government disqualifying the Chinese-led Bangon Marawi Consortium after it was discovered that it had no financial capacity to undertake the massive project. (READ: Marawi rehab 'on track' despite search for new developer)

The United Nations Refugee Agency also reported that displaced residents have yet to fully benefit from the billions of pesos the government has allocated for their relief. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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