Duterte OKs P3.34B for Marawi rehab projects
The Office of the President in March approved P3.34 billion in additional projects aimed at rehabilitating war-torn Marawi City, on top of the money that the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) released for educational materials that month.
But the projects approved for issuance of special allotment release orders (Saros) as well as those covered by actual releases from the DBM during the first three months of 2020 were part of the Marawi Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program (MRRRP) funds allocated in the 2019 national budget.
Last year’s MRRRP covered by the annual National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF) will expire by yearend given the two-year validity of the 2019 budget.
In March, the DBM released to the Department of Education (DepEd) P3.28 million for the following: printing of education in emergency materials; support to schools as zones of peace; and provision of learning kits in Butig and Piagapo towns in Lanao del Sur province.
Last February, the DBM released P80.25 million to improve and rehabilitate Mual Lumbaca Ingud-Ranaranao Road in Marawi City’s neighboring town of Marantao.
Also in March, the Office of the President approved Saro issuance to six government entities, including P558.19 million for the local government of Marawi City to build infrastructure like barangay complexes with health center and madrasah, a peace memorial park, a central market, a museum, a school of living tradition, and a city command center.
Saros worth P20.94 million will be released to build a 1,500-linear meter perimeter fence around Mindanao State University (MSU).
For the state-run National Housing Authority (NHA), the President approved the release of P1.91 billion for housing programs.
The Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) will get a total of P766.54 million—P553.36 million for a sewerage treatment plant, on top of P211.18 million for bulk water supply, both in the most affected area of the five-month fighting between government forces and Islamic State supporters in 2017.
The newly formed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will also receive P30 million “to cover the funding requirements for implementation of various projects in Marawi City,” DBM documents showed.
Also, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will be issued P48.58 million in Saros to build a P12.27-million tourist police unit building and a P36.31-million maritime building in the most affected area.
Pending approval by the Office of the President were P2.93 million for the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), and another P15.21 million for BARMM.
To be processed by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) was P1.29 billion in additional funds for the NHA.
All NDRRMF releases for the MRRRP were subject to final approval by President Rodrigo Duterte upon recommendation of the interagency National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
Last year, only P62.9 million of the 2019 MRRRP funding was released to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to build two infrastructure projects within the most affected area.
The P3.5 billion allocated for the MRRRP in 2020 remained unreleased, although the government earmarked a bigger P4.55 billion for projects, with P20.28 million for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) already approved by the Office of the President for Saro issuance.
Up for the President’s go-ahead were P4.06 billion in projects of the Social Housing Finance Corp. (SHFC), the DPWH, the NHA, the DTI, and BARMM.
Pending the approval and signature of the defense secretary and the OCD administrator were a total of P183.36 million in projects of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the National Youth Commission (NYC).
To be processed by the OCD were P291.26 million for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
At least P406.5 million in NDRRMF allocation for MRRRP under the 2018 budget lapsed their two-year validity in 2019 due to slow approval of projects.
Edited by TSB
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