THE government has signed an official development assistance (ODA) grant agreement with Japan for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi City worth 2 billion yen, or nearly P970 million.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III signed the grant agreement representing the Philippines while Yoshio Wada, the chief representative in the Philippines of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), was the Japanese signatory.
“The ODA in the form of grant aid assistance will be given mainly to infrastructure projects identified under the Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program of the Task Force Bangon Marawi which includes local governance and peace building, housing ang settlement, livelihood and business development, physical infrastructure, social services, and land resources management,” JICA said in a statement yesterday
Mr. Dominguez, meanwhile, said that the government has so far identified about 902 rehabilitation projects costing about P55 billion.
He added that “close to half” of the required funding will be sourced from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Project Fund, while other sources will include various government agencies, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the city government of Marawi, nongovernment organizations, development partners, and the private sector.
Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Chairman Eduardo del Rosario said that the task force expects to conduct a groundbreaking ceremony for rebuilding projects on June 16.
Similar to the relief efforts for victims of Typhoon Yolanda, the government is also considering a “pledging session” where projects will be presented to lending agencies to raise more funds for the redevelopment of the city.
Mr. Dominguez also said that the government will float retail treasury bonds to finance projects in Marawi City. “We think every Filipino will want to share in the rehabilitation of Marawi.”
“We can assure everybody is that these funds will be properly used and prudently used and will not be subject to graft or corruption. We are very hopeful that just like Japan and other countries will respond positively to our offer for them to participate in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi,” Mr. Dominguez added.
According to the Department of Finance (DoF), this is the fourth aid package provided by Japan for rehabilitating Marawi City following the turn over of heavy equipment and other technical assistance inked last year — bringing the total aid from Japan at $36 million.
“I would like to assure the ambassador and the chief representative of JICA that we are very keenly aware that these funds come from the taxpayers of Japan, and that we will honor them by not wasting those funds,” Mr. Dominguez said.
“On behalf of the Philippine government, I express profound gratitude for the generous support by the government of Japan to the great task of rebuilding the City of Marawi,” he added.
Mr. Wada said: “As the Philippines’ trusted partner in development for many years, JICA offers its support to the reconstruction of Marawi so the people of Marawi can get back on their feet and restore hope for a better life after the conflict.
Japan has also agreed to provide 1.1 billion yen, or about $9.8 million, to co-fund core shelters and livelihood training for Marawi City’s residents with the United Nations Human Settlement Programme, and $2 million worth of assistance to help the relief operations of the UN World Food Programme and the UN International Children’s Fund in Marawi.
The DoF said that JICA is also currently financing a feasibility study for the construction of a Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao, which include road components in Marawi City. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan
DoTr, JICA agree on terms for MRT-3 rehab
THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) and the Japanese government, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), have finalized the terms of the rehabilitation and maintenance deal for the Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3) ahead of the signing ceremony scheduled for next month.
In a statement on Tuesday, the DoTr said the two parties reached agreement on Friday on the estimated cost, scope and schedule of the project.
“Based on the discussions, the Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project will take 43 months: 31 months for the simultaneous rehabilitation and maintenance works to restore MRT-3 to its original design condition and capacity, and 12 months for the defect liability period,” it said.
The Japanese government will finance the project, amounting to 34.480 billion yen or P16.985 billion. The DoTr said it aims to conduct the signing of the loan agreement and the announcement of the rehabilitation and maintenance concession by next month.
The department said the rehabilitation process will cover the trains, power supply system, overhead catenary system, radio system, CCTV system, public address system, signaling system, rail tracks, road rail vehicles, depot equipment, elevators and escalators and other station-building equipment.
In November, the DoTr was reported to be in discussions with the Japanese government regarding the maintenance of the MRT-3, following its termination of the maintenance contract with Busan Universal Rail, Inc. Japanese company Sumitomo Corp. was the MRT-3 maintenance provider from 2000 to 2012. — Denise A. Valdez