Gov't bares funding source for Marawi 'multi-year' rehabilitation

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 14) — The rebuilding of war-torn Marawi City will take years and the government has identified where the funding for the rehabilitation will come from, an official said on Friday.

Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno said in a Palace briefing the recovery of Marawi City will take years.

"The rebuilding of Marawi will be a multi-year task. It cannot be done in a few months or one year. So with that, we are talking of a multi-year effort. And in fact there is a task force created to prepare such a plan," Diokno said.

The rehabilitation of Marawi, which is set to start in August, will have a P5 billion budget for the remaining five months of 2017.

Diokno said the bulk of that amount will come from the budget of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management (NDRRMC).

"I have already identified some P5 billion for the Marawi restoration. It's a standby money there. We will get it from the National Disaster Risk and Management fund and then also there's part from the contingent fund and there are existing budgets of some related agencies such as DOH, DSWD, DepEd, DA, DPWH, DOTr, TESDA, and others," he said.

He added the government could also tap into the foreign grants and donations from several countries.

The P10 billion budget for the rehabilitation in 2018 has already been set aside, Diokno said.

"Next year, the NDRRM fund will have a P25.5 billion allocation for 2018, of which P10 billion is set aside for Marawi," he said.

Diokno said the budget for the 2019 rehabilitation had yet to be determined. He also raised the possibility of extending the rehabilitation until 2020, depending on the recovery of the city.

President Rodrigo Duterte has promised to help Marawi rise as a prosperous city again.

He has also pledged some ₱20 billion ($400 million) for programs for its rehabilitation, adding he would look for money if the allocated budget needed to be increased.

Task Force Bangon Marawi, created by Duterte through Administrative Order No. 3, will handle the recovery, reconstruction, and  rehabilitation of Marawi and nearby towns affected by the clashes between lthe ISIS-linked Maute and government forces.

Task Force Bangon Marawi sub-committees

Office of Civil Defense Post-Disaster Evaluation and Management Division Chief Lenie Alegre said Task Force Bangon Marawi, during its first organizational meeting on July 7, has created five sub-committees to fast-track rehabilitation.

"The government is actually planning ahead for early recovery and rehabilitation as well as possible reconstruction," Alegre said.

Alegre bared the five sub-commitees and their tasks.

The Department of Public Works and Highways will oversee the repair, rehab, and reconstruction of all national roads and bridges, public schools, and government buildings.

There's also a sub-committee to focus on the immediate establishment and reconstruction of temporary and permanent shelters.

The Health and Social Welfare Departments were directed to implement measures to provide sanitation, health facilities, medical supplies, food, and potable water.

Sub-committees on business and livelihood and peace and order were also created.

Alegre said the sub-committees were directed to prepare an initial plan for Marawi and present them to the local government units.

Phase 2 of Marawi recovery

Alegre said the second phase - the actual work towards recovery and rehabilitation - will be called Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program.

"In all the dimension of this particular cluster, we'll be recognizing that there is importance on healing and reconciliation as well as conflict resolution in the area and that will be an integral part of the plan," she said.

Alegre hopes this phase of the recovery, also a "multi-year implementation" could be started by September.

Accountability

Diokno said after all the planning, budgeting and implementing, they would look into how the budget was spent to avoid a repeat of the past administration's heavily-criticized Typhoon Yolanda rehabilitation.

"Why is accountability important? Well, we learned our lessons from the 'Yolanda' incident. The Filipino people should know how the money was spent," he said.

Clashes between government troops and Maute members in Marawi is on its 53rd day. Government troops have yet to clear over 600 buildings occupied by the enemy.

About 300,000 persons were displaced by the conflict and are staying in evacuation centers.