• 2018 budget includes P10B to rebuild Marawi

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    The National Expenditure Program for 2018 sent by President Rodrigo Duterte to Congress on Monday includes P10 billion for the reconstruction of Marawi City, Surigao del Sur second district Rep. Johnny Pimentel said on Saturday.

    According to the lawmaker, the sum will be sourced from the allocation for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF) next year.

    “All of the city’s damaged structures will be restored, including homes, schools, places of worship, hospitals, public markets, roads and bridges. The city’s electricity, water and telecommunications services will also be fixed and improved,” Pimentel, member of the House appropriations committee, said in a statement.

    Marawi City in Lanao del Sur has been under siege by the Maute group since May 23.

    “The P10 billion is on top of the P5 billion already available this year for Marawi – out of the Contingent Fund of the 2017 national budget and the Quick Recovery Funds of various agencies under Task Force Bangon Marawi,” Pimentel said.

    He also said that the NDRRMF for 2018 was increased to P25.5 billion from P15.7 billion this year in order to provide for the P10 billion for the city’s reconstruction.

    According to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, the Duterte administration will spend as much as P20 billion for the city’s rehabilitation.

    Diokno said on Wednesday they have allocated P5 billion for the next five months and P10 billion for 2018, while the sum for 2019 would still be determined.

    The House of Representatives aims to finish deliberations on the proposed P3.8-trillion national budget for 2018 within October, according to House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

    Earlier, Duterte issued Administrative Order No. 3 forming an inter-agency task force for Marawi’s recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation.

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