Drilon hits 'grossly insufficient' Marawi rehab fund for 2021 | Inquirer News
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Drilon hits ‘grossly insufficient’ Marawi rehab fund for 2021

/ 09:59 AM November 17, 2020

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon. (File photo / Screen grab / Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon questioned the “grossly insufficient” funding for the rehabilitation of Marawi under the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021.

Citing his office’s own research, Drilon said the damage in Marawi City amounts to P70 billion yet the government has only allocated P3.5 billion for 2020 and P5 billion for next year.

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“The rehabilitation fund is grossly insufficient,” Drilon said during the Senate budget debates on Monday.

“Our countrymen there have been suffering for the last two years,” he added.

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The senator said his office receives reports from residents who “are really complaining about the very slow rehabilitation that is being undertaken.”

“Indeed, that is confirmed now by the meager budget for next year,” he said.

“We seriously doubt the sufficiency of the funds to fund the rehabilitation of Marawi,” he added, saying that the government has been “relying on donations and official development assistance.”

Earlier, Task Force Bangon Marawi chairman and Housing Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario said the government intends to complete the rehabilitation of Marawi by December 2021.

But Drilon raised concerns over whether the allocated budget this year and for 2021 would be enough to complete the task within the timeline given by officials.

“Would the current and the budget next year be enough to complete the rehabilitation by December 2021 as publicly committed by officials in charge of Marawi?” he asked.

He then expressed hopes that the Senate will increase the Marawi rehabilitation fund.

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Senator Sonny Angara, chair of the Senate finance committee, agreed with Drilon’s suggestion.

Drilon, likewise, pointed to the proposed budget of the National Disaster and Risk Management Council (NDRRMC), which he also said was “grossly insufficient.”

Given the full extent of damage caused by recent typhoons, Drilon questioned why the NDRRMC only got an allocation of P21 billion for next year.

The minority leader backed Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri’s proposal to use a portion of the controversial P19 billon anti-insurgency fund for relief operations.

JPV

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TAGS: 2021 budget, Marawi rehabilitation, Nation, News, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon
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