Yolanda funds to be used for Marawi rehab

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The rehabilitation of Marawi City will be partly funded by the money allocated for victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda, according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

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Lorenzana on Thursday said the Budget department allotted Yolanda “savings” for the Islamic city’s rehabilitation. He explained that Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno allocated P5 billion of the P7.5 billion fund meant to help victims of Typhoon Yolanda, particularly those in Tacloban City.

“They (Department of Budget and Management) got the P5 billion [from the Yolanda funds]and they allocated it for the meantime in Marawi to support the evacuees and the expenses that we are going to incur,” the Defense chief said in a news conference and media seminar on disaster risk reduction and management in Subic, Zambales.

The P5 billion will be used to build temporary shelters for Marawi refugees and fund relief operations, among other projects.

Lorenzana said the “real” allocation for the Marawi reconstruction may be released next year.

“What we are doing right now is clearing the debris to provide a clear way for the residents and we will be having an assessment, a post-conflict assessment then we will finish the master plan for development,” he explained.

“Then next year, once the budget is released in the first quarter, then we will start the reconstruction,” he added.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said the budget to be utilized in Marawi will also be sourced from various agencies who got “quick response fund.”

Jalad said all departments of the government have quick response funds meant to be used during disasters.
Lorenzana said the budget of the NDRRMC for next year will be increased to P25 billion. Of this, P10 billion will
be used for the rehabilitation of Marawi.

Diokno in July announced that his department has set aside P5 billion for Marawi, where soldiers have been battling Maute Group terrorists for four months.

Not murderers

Lorenzana had said that the war in Marawi will be over by the end of September.

The Defense chief gave assurances that state troops will not kill the terrorists who will surrender.
Rep. Mauyag Papandayan Jr. of Lanao del Sur had said some Maute members are willing to surrender as long as they will not be killed by the military.

“Of course, we will not kill people who are surrendering. Soldiers are not murderers. People who will surrender, we will take them and their fate is up to the courts once we filed appropriate charges against them, but they will not be killed if they surrender,” Lorenzana said.

“So I told him (Papandayan), anytime they (Maute) want to surrender, they can go out, they will not be killed,” he added.

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