Senator Grace Poe has pitched for a P5-billion fund to help bring back to life the war-torn Marawi.
“After the conflict, we want to see rising a stronger, better Marawi,” Poe said.
She proposed to source the P5-billion “Bangon Marawi Fund” from the 2018 budget, which is being deliberated in Congress.
The amount would be used to augment the P20 billion to be released within three years by the government for the reconstruction and rebuilding of the city.
Marawi, as well as the entire Mindanao, is still under Martial Law. However, President Rodrigo Duterte declared that the city has been liberated from the Islamic State-inspired Maute group following the deaths of its leaders.
“Maraming buhay ang nalagas, nasira ang komunidad at nawalan ng tirahan ang mga residente doon. Hindi matatawaran ang sakripisyo at mahabang panahong ginugol ng militar sa pagtugis sa mga terorista,” the lawmaker said.
“Tiyak na makatutulong ang dagdag na pondong ito upang maisakatuparan ang programa ng pamahalaan para sa pagbangon ng Marawi at para na rin sa mas mahigpit na seguridad sa lugar,” the legislator added.
The senator, a member of Senate special committee on Marawi that oversees the government’s rebuilding initiatives in the war-torn area, proposed that the additional fund be included under the Unprogrammed Appropriations of the 2018 General Appropriations Act.
Economic leaders and members of the Cabinet’s security cluster should start drawing up a master plan that would cover all the needs of Marawi, such as well-planned housing, schools, hospitals, livelihood and further beefing up of security in the area, Poe said.
“The Marawi rehabilitation plan should be future-proof and include infrastructure for security against elements who would attempt to besiege the city anew,” she stressed.
The government has allocated P5 billion for the post-conflict plan of the war-torn city in 2017, which would be sourced from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund. An additional P10 billion will be released in 2018. The budget allocation for 2019 would be estimated based on the remaining needs of the plan, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.
The government is also studying the possibility of a P30-billion bond float starting next year to help augment the funds for the city’s recovery.