‘Your money is in the bank’: Duterte assures Marawi foreign aid intact

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 31) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday assured Japanese and other foreign governments that donations they sent for the Marawi rehabilitation are intact and safe in the bank.

“Construction is ongoing. Do not worry, all the donors of the country-- your money is in the bank,” Duterte said during his speech at the 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia in Tokyo, Japan.

“The money that Japan and everybody contributed are all accounted for. We have not spent the foreign aid assistance. We spent first our own money,” he added.

The chief executive assured the foreign assistance and donations are safe in the country’s central bank.

At the tail end of his state visit, Duterte likewise thanked Japan for its decades-long support for the Philippines, particularly for the development of Mindanao.

“I thank the government of Japan for its enduring commitment over many decades to build a peaceful and resilient Mindanao,” the President said.

Government officials were in hot water recently after the Commission on Audit (COA) reported that millions of donations never reached Marawi siege victims. 

READ: OCD: Unused ₱36M donations for Marawi victims to fund city's rehab

More than 900 terrorists, 47 civilians and 165 government troops were killed during the May 2017 siege. Some 300,000 residents were displaced, while houses and buildings were turned to rubble.

The government has set aside ₱67.99 billion for the city's comprehensive rehabilitation. As of February, the Finance Department said over ₱40 billion has been raised through concessional loans as well as international grants.

Duterte, in a previous speech, has hinted at leaving Marawi’s full restoration to businessmen.