The Office of the President has approved the augmentation of the 2017 National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund amounting to P14.5 billion. Geared towards providing sufficient funding for the rehabilitation of Marawi City in Lanao del Sur, the amount will be sourced from the savings of the Department of Public Works and Highways for fiscal year 2016 and 2017, amounting to P10.3-billion and P4.2 billion, respectively.
Agencies are now expected to submit their respective Budget Execution Documents to support the release of such funds, especially for the budgetary requirements for Pre-Post Conflict Needs Assessment inclusive of housing, health and social welfare, business and livelihood, peace and order, and information management and strategic communications support.
Around P495 million sourced from the Quick Response Fund of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Health, and the Department of National Defense had already been spent for evacuation and relief of internally displaced families and persons.
Furthermore, a total of P3 billion has been released to DSWD to cover the funding for continuing relief, inclusive of food assistance, provision of hygiene kits, kitchen kits, family kits, sleeping kits, and collapsible water carriers. This amount would also cover DSWD’s budgetary requirements for a cash-for-work program, enlisting residents in reconstruction/rehabilitation community works and project management/ operational support.
A total of P195 million has also been released to DPWH to cover funding for quick response, transitional shelter, and various evacuation centers in Marawi City.
Following Administrative Order No. 9, the leadership of the Task Force Bangon Marawi has also been transferred to the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, in order to address the urban planning requirements of the newly liberated city. Previously, the DND had the lead oversight in the planning and proceedings for the city’s reconstruction and rehabilitation while the fighting ensued. Marawi City has been liberated from the control of ISIS-backed terrorist groups on Oct. 17, 2017, thereby indicating the start of a thorough reconstruction period. As such, the need to reorganize TFBM was borne to reflect the government’s current priority to rebuild and develop the settlement areas that were affected by the attacks.
In a related development, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the release of P500 million to fund the medical and livelihood needs of soldiers wounded during the five-month long battle in Marawi.
“I just released 500 million, para lang ‘yan sa tinamaan sa giyera,” Duterte said in a speech Tuesday at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.
Duterte said part of the P500 million would be used to build homes for the soldiers and pay for their treatment and recuperation.
“At this time when you are supposed to go into a therapy or treatment, I would like you to have a housing project or village nearby,” he said.
Duterte, who cited South African sprint runner Oscar Pistorius who competed in the Olympics to inspire soldiers to continue with their everyday life, likewise encouraged soldiers especially those who suffered amputation to undergo computer training so that they can continue to work in government with jobs which will not require them to move around.
“I guarantee them that for those who are really wanting to stand again, the use of prosthesis and titanium – the best example is the Blade Runner who killed his lover, but he was a very good runner using titanium,” Duterte said.
“Gusto ko na mag-training muna kayo and gusto kong malaman ninyo na may buhay after Marawi, that there is life after Marawi,” he added.
He likewise reiterated that he would support the country’s uniformed personnel at all times, as he repeated his vow to double the salaries of the military and other uniformed personnel.