Marawi rehabilitation cost seen topping P20B
The government may have to spend more than the initial estimate of P20 billion for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi City, Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said.
On the sidelines of a forum, Diokno said the reconstruction of Marawi would involve a multiyear, likely three-year, plan such that the cost of rehabilitation could exceed President Duterte’s earlier estimate.
“For me, it’s a low estimate,” the Budget chief said, citing that the government would be building a “new city.”
Diokno said the funding for reconstruction efforts were already on standby, although the rehabilitation plan should first be firmed up.
“We will release about P10 billion initially because financing should follow the plan. [The Department of Budget and Management] can’t commit a bigger amount if we don’t have the plan in place yet,” Diokno said.
For this year, the DBM has set aside P5 billion from the NDRRM Fund for 2018, on top of a higher P10 billion next year and a yet to be determined amount for 2019, the Budget chief added.
Last Tuesday, the country’s chief economist said a possible extension until year’s end of the implementation of martial law in Mindanao amid continuous fighting in Marawi City was not expected to widely disrupt business and economic activity on the island.
“I think there’s no consequential disruption of businesses in Mindanao; life seems to be going quite normal. Even Cagayan de Oro, which is quite close to Marawi, doesn’t seem to be affected by what’s going on there. It’s business as usual,” Socioeconomic Ernesto M. Pernia told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of the Northern Mindanao Regional Development Plan 2017-2022, when asked about President Duterte’s plan to extend martial law in Mindanao.
“In fact, martial law is also an environment that will make people safe—they will feel safe about going about their business. It’s not really a hindrance; it’s more of ensuring people that their lives and businesses are not in danger,” added Pernia, who heads state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority.
Asked if an extension of martial law meant that the government was unable to immediately resolve the conflict, Pernia said the government “just wanted to be sure that no stone is unturned.
“The purpose is to make sure there is no uprising in other areas of Mindanao,” Pernia said.
As for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi City, Pernia said that besides the allocation in the national budget, a number of foreign countries offered financial assistance, including Australia, China, Japan and the United States.
“European countries are also coming in to help,” he said.
Also, the foundation of tycoon Lucio Tan had expressed intention to help in housing rehabilitation, an example of private sector participation in reconstructing the city, he said.
“There’s going to be many forms of support,” he said.
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