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Marawi rehab efforts get P4.8-B boost

By YAS D. OCAMPO

DAVAO CITY – Marawi City’s rehabilitation has been boosted by at least P4.8 billion in infrastructure and logistics funding, a Congress­man from Surigao del Sur said.

In a statement Rep. Johnny Pimentel said there was a need to earmark more money for the disas­ter funds and another R1.3 billion to reactivate the 55th Engineering Brigade and help speed up the re­construction of the city more than one year after the attack.

Pimentel is a member of the pow­erful appropriations committee at the House of Representatives.

“On top of the R3.5 billion, government is also spending an­other P1.3 billion to support the activation of the Philippine Army’s 55th Engineering Brigade, for the purpose of aiding in the restoration of Marawi,” Pimentel said.

In the proposed General Ap­propriations Act for 2019, out of the P20 billion earmarked for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF), P3.5 billion would be spent on Marawi, Pimentel said.

Also known as the Calamity Fund, the NDRRMF is the lump-sum fund in the annual budget “for aid, relief and rehabilitation services to areas affected by man-made and natural calamities, and the repair and reconstruction of permanent structures, including other capital expenditures for disaster operation and rehabilitation activities.”

President Duterte in his 2019 Budget Message to Congress said he was pleased with the ongoing efforts to revive Marawi.

“The Task Force Bangon Marawi is doing a great job, as evidenced by the fact that more than 70 per­cent of displaced residents have returned to the city,” Mr. Duterte said.

Duterte assured Marawi that the government was behind the city as it tries to reconstruct from the rubble of the months-long battle between government troops and Maute rebels.

The government is already spending P10 billion this year to make Marawi livable again, com­plete with homes, schools, places of worship, hospitals, public markets, roads and bridges as well as basic services such as electricity, water and telecommunications.

The P10 billion represents nearly 40 percent of the P25.5 billion in the NDRRMF this year, Pimentel said.

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