PH gov’t corners P35.1 billion worth of pledges for Marawi rehab

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 28 Nov) – The Philippine government has cornered a total of P35.1 billion in pledges from various international development partners for the Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program (BMCRRP), Finance secretary Carlos G. Dominguez announced.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez during the press conference for the Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program (BMCRRP) Wednesday (28 Nov 2018). MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV

The finance chief told a press conference Wednesday that of this amount, at least P32.7 billion in a form concessional financing and P2.4 billion in grants had been cornered in a closed door pledging session during the Sulong Pilipinas 2018 held at the SMX Convention Center here.

As of 3:29 p.m. Wednesday, the Department of Finance (DOF) has yet to release a list of the international partners and their corresponding pledges as they have yet to get a clearance from the International Finance Group (IFG).

But Dominguez thanked various international development partners such as Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the governments of China, Japan, and Italy for helping the city rise from devastation.

He also expressed his gratitude to the United Nations, ADB, and World Bank, and the governments of the United States, Australia, China, Germany, Japan, Korea and Spain for supporting Marawi’s reconstruction efforts in the form of technical assistance and preparatory support needed to ensure the implementation of the Bangon Marawi program and carry out community-based initiatives to help the residents of Marawi rebuild their lives.

Dominguez said around P72.58 billion will be needed to rehabilitate Marawi to be allocated over a five-year period.

Of this amount, he said, P47.20 billion will be allocated for the BMCRRP; and P17.20 billion for the rehabilitation of the Most Affected Areas (MAA) and P1.25 billion for livelihood assistance to be sourced from the local funds.

At the Mindanao Media Forum on ‘Reporting Mindanao: Peace, Martial Law and Marawi Rehab’ held here on November 16, the Task Force Bangon Marawi pegged the funding requirement for the Marawi rehabilitation at 64.58 billion pesos broken down as follows; 47.5B for the BMCRRP; 15B for MAA; 1.2B for livelihood and 882 million for the reconstruction of mosques.

In previous press briefings, the P20.05 billion proposed compensation fund was included. But TFBM chair Del Rosario said they did not add that anymore because “we were told by the DOF not to put that in because the bill is pending in Congress.”

The remaining P6.9 billion came from the humanitarian assistance from UN and its specialized agencies, as well as the governments of Australia, Italy, Japan, Korea, US, and private sector partners required during the early stages of the recovery program.

Dominguez announced the government plans to issue Marawi Bonds worth about P13.5 billion. He said that with the bonds, combined with the regular budgets of government agencies and pledges from the international community, it will be more than cover the funding requirements of the BMCRRP.

“In the overall financing strategy for Marawi, 54 percent of the funding requirement will come from generous support we have received from foreign sources – in the form of grants and concessional loans – while local funds will be used for 46 percent of the amount needed to rehabilitate and reconstruct the city,” he said.

“In reality, this really is an almost equal partnership between our foreign development partners and Filipino people themselves for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi,” he said.

Dominguez assured that they will “continue to work harder in the coming days to hasten the recovery and rehabilitation of the city.”

Housing Secretary and Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) chair Eduardo del Rosario said the groundbreaking for the rehabiltiation of the war-ravaged Marawi was held on October 30, 2018.

“From then on, mobilization of equipment – heavy equipment – had been started and they are there in MAA (most affected area). The clearing of unexploded ordnances and the debris clearing, the structures are demolished are ongoing, and actually it started this week,” he said.

Del Rosario said they tapped the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to identify the metes and bounds of the properties of the most affected area.

“We requested all the residents per sector to be there and state their claim, and we were surprised that in some structures there are 2 or 3 more claimants – others claiming the lands, others claiming the property. It’s been going on for the last three months and we have completed sector 1 out of 9 sectors,” he said.

He said a technical team is now working on sector 2.

“We will do this because once the whole area is cleared of debris, we must have a reference to the nearest centimeter of the exact metes and bounds of all these structures,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)