DAVAO CITY — Multilateral funding agencies and foreign governments have pledged P35.1 billion in assistance for the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City, covering almost half of the estimated P72.58 billion needed for the overall recovery program.
The balance will be sourced locally, according to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.
“The government’s planned issuance of Marawi bonds worth about P13.5 billion (for the first tranche) along with the regular budgets of government agencies and P32.5 billion in pledges will adequately cover the P72.6-billion funding requirement for the Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program (BMCRRP),” the Finance chief said during a press conference here following a pledging session with representatives of foreign funding partners on Wednesday.
Those who made pledges were the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank (WB), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), as well as the governments of China, Japan and Spain. Of the total pledges, P32.7 billion will be in the form of concessional loans, while P2.4 billion will be in grants.
“In reality, this is really an almost equal partnership between our foreign development partners and the Filipino people themselves for the reconstruction of Marawi,” Mr. Dominguez said.
He also thanked the ADB, WB, the United Nations (UN), as well as the governments of the United States, Australia, China, Germany, Japan, South Korea and Spain for their technical assistance and support for preparations for the Bangon Marawi program and community-based initiatives.
He also acknowledged the UN and its specialized agencies, as well as the governments of Australia, Italy, Japan, Korea, United States of America, and private sector partners, for help in the relief operations and humanitarian grant assistance worth around P6.9 billion.
The P72.58-billion estimated budget, which will be spent up to 2022, includes P47.2 billion for the overall BMCRRP; P17.20 billion for the rehabilitation of the approximately 250-hectare most-affected area; P1.25 billion for livelihood assistance projects; and some P6.9 billion in humanitarian assistance required in the early stages of the recovery program.
Marawi, the capital city of Lanao del Sur province in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and considered as the main Muslim city in the country, was attacked in late May 2017 by Islamic State-affiliated local terrorists.
Intense gun battle with government forces lasted for five months, leaving much of the city center in ruins and more than 77,000 families displaced, according to official estimates.
Mr. Dominguez said that with the financing strategy now mostly in place, “Marawi City will be ready in due time to continue playing its historic role as a center of culture and commerce in this part of Mindanao.” — Marifi S. Jara