Gov`t, foreign partners speed up work on P67.9-B Marawi rehab, reconstruction

Funding from both local and foreign sources have enabled the Duterte administration to fast track the extensive planning and preparations required for the P67.99-billion reconstruction and rehabilitation program for Marawi, a year after government troops liberated this Southern Philippine city from Islamic State (IS)-inspired militants.

Of the amount needed for Marawi’s rehabilitation, about P41.81 billion has already been raised by the government. Of this, P6.64 billion came from various forms of humanitarian assistance from multilateral and bilateral partners during the early stages of the recovery program for Marawi while P35.17 billion will be sourced from the Philippines’ development partners, which have offered concessional loans and grants during the pledging session for the Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Recovery and Rehabilitation Program (BMCRRP) held last Nov. 28 in Davao City, according to Department of Finance (DOF) Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Antonio Joselito Lambino II.

The Philippine government has already released a total of P12.4 billion to aid the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the damaged city of Marawi. Of this amount, 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) to help fund these rehabilitation efforts.

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 as soon as residents return to their devastated city.

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.

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.

He noted that just this month, Philippine government officials and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda led the groundbreaking ceremony of the Marawi Transcentral Road that will be rebuilt with funding support from Japan.

Foreign institutions have also carried out programs such as cash transfers for the displaced city folk, given grants and donated equipment for the reconstruction effort, Lambino said.

China, Japan, the United States, Australia, Germany, Korea, Spain and Italy, along with multilateral institutions such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank (WB), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the United Nations (UN) offered their support during last year’s pledging session in Davao.

Marawi retail bonds will also be issued by the government to bridge any remaining financing requirement for the Bangon Marawi program, said Lambino, adding that this bond issuance would provide patriotic Filipinos the opportunity to help rebuild the lives of their fellow Filipinos in the war-torn city.

“A city as damaged as Marawi requires a long-term rehabilitation program. With some developmentpartners, the project preparation alone may last up to three years from the project conception to the start of the construction or implementation. We are moving faster than business-as-usual,” Lambino said.

The BMCRRP includes not just construction projects, but a comprehensive program involving short, medium, and long-term physical infrastructure, social services, housing and settlement, livelihood and business development, local governance and peace-building, and land resource management.

“The Filipino public can expect that the government will further hasten the rehabilitation, recovery, and development of Marawi,” Lambino said. “The Duterte Administration remains committed to the Filipino people and to its promise that Marawi will rise again.”

He said that more initiatives are also being carried out by various government agencies to help displaced Marawi residents get back on their feet. International institutions have also done their part in providing initial humanitarian aid and grants for this purpose.

“The Philippine government continues to thank all its international development partners and countries that have supported our relief operations, contributed humanitarian grant assistance, and pledged support for the Marawi rehabilitation and recovery program,” Lambino said.