FUND-RAISING for the rehabilitation of Marawi City has raised about a fifth of the amount needed over four years but works are expected to begin in June as scheduled, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.
NEDA Undersecretary Adoracion M. Navarro said the updated total cost of repairs outside ground zero is estimated at P53.42 billion until 2022, covering a total of 892 projects.
This year, the government needs P26.16 billion and half of it will be sourced from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund.
So far, the government has accessed about P10 billion from the calamity fund under the 2018 budget, and about P3 billion in firm official development assistance (ODA) commitments from the Japanese, Chinese, and Australian governments.
“I don’t think any delays will be due to the insufficiency of funds. I believe that even before the project is signed for implementation, implementation-ready funds will be available. The economic managers will be able to anticipate it,” Ms. Navarro said yesterday during a media briefing, noting the projects can start even when partial amounts are available.
She said that other national government agencies and local government units have funds in their budgets that can be tapped for Marawi.
She added that the government is awaiting more pledges from multilateral institutions.
Ms. Navarro also noted a special provision in the 2018 budget allows the government to draw an additional P5 billion from the unprogrammed funds that can be used if the tax bureaus exceed their targets for the year. So far in the first quarter, the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs have beaten their goals.
According to the list provided by NEDA, funding sources for the 2018-2022 rehabilitation program include P24.87 billion from the calamity fund, P16.32 billion from nongovernment entities, P4.99 billion from various agencies’ budgets, P3.34 billion from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, P3.26 billion from cost-sharing among the government, private sector, and lending institutions, P78 million from local government units, and P569 million “to be determined.”
The government is also planning to float retail Treasury bonds, and conduct a pledging session to firm up commitments made by local and foreign donor institutions.
Meanwhile, the rehabilitation of ground zero will be taken up by a consortium of five Chinese and four domestic firms which submitted a P20-billion unsolicited proposal.
The Swiss challenge period for the proposal starts on May 26 and will run for three weeks. The government will then entertain rival offers, which the group making the original proposal has the right to match.
Task Force Bangon Marawi aims to start groundbreaking on the rehabilitation projects next month.
However, she said government agencies in the affected region are facing challenges in implementing the projects.
“The implementing agencies are rushing to comply with the requirements,” Ms. Navarro said.
From experience, she said, the main obstacles to speedy implementation are procurement issues and right of way. “I’m anticipating that those factors will also cause delays, and not the availability of funds.” — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan