Sen. Bato dela Rosa
By Junex Doronio
DESPITE THE SNAIL-PACED REHABILITATION of the once majestic Marawi City, Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa has asked the national government to increase the budget for its rebuilding effort.
“It has been three years since the government declared the liberation of thousands of families from the Maute group but our brothers and sisters are still struggling for permanent shelter,” Dela Rosa lamented.
It was learned that as of November, P36.1 billion has been released and some P5 billion is appropriated for the rehabilitation of the war-torn city for 2021.
So far, only up to 30 percent of the targeted construction for the rehabilitation of Marawi City has been accomplished, a little over a year before its expected completion.
According to data from the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), the government had allotted a total of P60.5 billion for the Marawi rehabilitation.
Various private institutions and foreign governments also granted the Philippines P30.56 billion in loans and another P3 billion in grants for the project.
But only P10.7 billion of the estimated P350 billion foreign donations pledged for the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City were channeled through the national government, Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, head of the Task Force Bangon Marawi, revealed.
Del Rosario made the admission when he was grilled by a panel of the Commission on Appointments (CA) for his confirmation as housing chief.
For five months, fierce firefights between government forces and the Maute group linked with the terrorist Islamic State (ISIS) left over a thousand dead, mostly militants.
Some 160 soldiers and police officers, and 47 civilians also perished.
The cost of damage was pegged at P11.5 billion, while economic loss was at P6 billion.
“No words can express my personal and perhaps our collective frustrations on what happened to the bustling city of Marawi, but let us all channel these frustrations into collective action and aid our countrymen to start anew,” Dela Rosa said. (AI/MTVN)