Gov’t already raised more than half of Marawi rehab budget

By Chino S. Leyco

The national government has already raised more than half of the needed funding for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.

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In a statement, Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Joselito G. Lambino II said that 41.81 billion, equivalent to 61.5 percent, of the required P67.99 billion for the full rehabilitation of Marawi City has been raised by the government.

Of the amount, P6.64 billion came from various forms of humanitarian assistance from multilateral and bilateral partners, while P35.17 billion will be sourced from the Philippines’ development partners.

Lambino, meanwhile, clarified that the P41.81 billion is also on top of the Philippine government’s P12.4 billion funding support to aid the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the damaged city.

Of the government’s funding allotment, P10.9 billion was provided to fund relief and livelihood assistance, as well as construction of transitional shelters and evacuation centers for displaced families, among others. The remaining P1.5 billion, which came from the President’s Social Fund, was also released to the National Housing Authority (NHA).

Lambino said that while the government is now accelerating the planning and preparatory stages to rehabilitate Marawi, which would take two to three years to complete, displaced families have started to benefit from the slew of immediate and short-term projects that both the government and foreign institutions have put in place.

Last January, for instance, 206 displaced families were transferred to the transitory shelters built by the Task Force Bangon Marawi at Barangay Boganga and have availed of livelihood projects and skills training programs undertaken by different agencies, the DOF spokesperson said.

These include the distribution by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of some 1,800 sewing machines with P5,000 worth of sewing kits to returning residents of Marawi.

The government has also distributed carinderia (food stall) starter kits; food carts; sari-sari store (small convenience store) kits; starter kits for street food businesses and for making Maranao delicacies.

Alongside these short-term services, Lambino said the government is continuously working with the country’s development partners to accelerate implementation of medium- to long-term rehabilitation efforts for Marawi.