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Gov’t says more than P50B needed to rebuild Marawi

By: Genalyn D. Kabiling

The government might need more than P50 billion for the rehabilitation of war-ravaged Marawi City even as it is grateful for the P2.064 billion worth of foreign relief assistance.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he originally estimated P50 billion could cover the Marawi rebuilding efforts but the figure might be insufficient due to the massive destruction in the area.

“When we went there last week with the President – early this week – I think R50 billion is not enough. Talagang grabe ‘yung destruction,” he said during a Palace press briefing.

“When the fighting stops and we will, I will bring you there, you will see how damaged the area is,” the country’s defense chief told reporters.

He said the post-conflict assessment group has started to visit the cleared areas to review the damage so far. The group includes the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Philippine Army engineers.

Donations from various countries, meantime, continued to pour in for the relief and rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City.

The biggest foreign assistance came from Australia with a pledge of P1 billion, according to Lorenzana.

He said United States has offered P730 million in assistance for Marawi while Japan and Thailand offered P100 million each.

Of the P85 million donated by China, Lorenzana said Beijing set aside P70 million to help wounded troops and another P15 million for the rehabilitation of Marawi while the European Union has also pledged P49 million.