Palace urged to review Marawi rehab implementation after 2018 budget expiration
MANILA, Philippines — A Mindanao lawmaker on Thursday urged the Palace to hold accountable those responsible for the failure to fully utilize the 2018 funds intended for victims of the 2017 Marawi siege.
Deputy Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman made the call after at least P406.5 million in funds allotted in 2018 for the rehabilitation of Marawi City expired and was reverted to the national treasury.
“I cannot stress this enough: the rehabilitation of Marawi City has long been delayed,” Hataman, who previously served as governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), said.
“At pag narinig ng mga tao na may milyon-milyong perang na-allocate para sa taga-Marawi na hindi nagamit at nag-expire, hindi ba karapatan nila ang madismaya, magalit at malungkot?” the lawmaker added.
(And when people hear that millions of pesos allocated for those in Marawi were not utilized and eventually expired, don’t they have the right to be dismayed, angry, and sad?)
Hataman said that the Palace should look at where the bottlenecks and chokepoints occurred in the rehabilitation program and identify the individuals responsible for the delays.
Those behind the delays, Hataman said, should also explain before the people of Marawi why some of the funds were unused, as he lamented that the funds could have been used for housing and livelihood projects that would have helped the affected residents.
“Kung tayo man ang nasa posisyon ng mga kapatid nating taga-Marawi, hindi ba kayo magagalit sa nangyari? Marami sa kanila ang hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin makauwi, tapos mababalitaan nila na may 400 milyon na hindi nagamit para sa kanila,” Hataman said.
(If we were in the position of our brothers from Marawi, won’t we get mad at what happened? Many of them still cannot come home until now, then they will hear that some P400 million funds were not used for them?)
Acting Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said that the funds for the rehabilitation of Marawi were included in the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF) of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
“[But] the [Department of Budget and Management’s] (DBM) releases are contingent on the NDRRMC’s endorsement and the Office of the President’s approval,” Avisado said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.