Drilon questions government scant funding for Marawi rehabilitation

Published November 17, 2020, 2:08 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday said the government should allocate more funds for the rehabilitation of Marawi City to reinvigorate it.

Senator Franklin Drilon
(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Drilon said he doubts the government would be able to finish the rehabilitation of Marawi City in Southern Mindanao by the end of next year due to budgetary constraints.
“We seriously doubt the sufficiency of the funds to fund the rehabilitation of Marawi. From our own research, the damage is about P70-billion,” Drilon noted.
“We have only allocated P3.5 billion this year and P5 billion next year. We have only been relying on donations and ODAs (official development assistance) to fund the rehabilitation,” the senator pointed out.
Task Force Bangon Marawi chair and housing czar Eduardo Del Rosario earlier said the government intends to finish the rehabilitation of Marawi by December 2021.
However, it was revealed during deliberations on the proposed P4.506-trillion national budget that at least P60-billion is needed for the rehabilitation of Marawi but only over P11-billion has been released.
For 2021, only P5 -billion was allotted for Marawi rehabilitation.
“The rehabilitation fund is grossly insufficient. Our countrymen there have been suffering for the last two years. From the reports that we received, they are really complaining about the very slow rehabilitation that is being undertaken. Indeed, that is confirmed now by the meager budget for next year.
“We are still talking about a P48-billion balance out of a budget of P60-billion to rehabilitate Marawi. Would the current and the budget next year be enough to complete the rehabilitation by December 2021 as publicly committed by officials in charge of Marawi?” Drilon emphasized.
Drilon said he hopes the Senate will accelerate the funding of the rehabilitation. Senate Finance Committee chairman Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara made a commitment to do so.
“We hope that in the period of amendments, the sponsor can consider an addition to the Marawi rehabilitation,” Drilon said.