P678-B budget proposed to fund Marawi rehab
DAVAO CITY — The Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) has crafted a P678-billion “Marshall Plan,” which will provide a road map for the immediate rebuilding of Marawi City and the lives of nearly 400,000 people displaced by the five-month fighting between government troops and Islamic State-inspired groups last year.
Romeo Montenegro, Minda deputy director, said the total amount would include P11 billion for the immediate repair and rehabilitation of major roads, bridges, schools and other government buildings in Marawi in the next six to 12 months; and P37 billion to build more roads and other structures in the medium term of one to three years.
But P630 billion, or the biggest chunk of the budget, will cover long-term projects designed to spur growth in the war-ravaged area. These projects, which will start in 2022, include the P30-billion Picong Industrial Estate Freeport and Philippine Haj Airport in Lanao del Sur province; the P20-billion Tawi-Tawi Special Economic Zone and Freeport; agricultural ecozones allocated with P5 billion; and the P400-billion Mindanao railway project, among others.
Minda has been part of government agencies that make up Task Force Bangon Marawi, which is leading the rebuilding of the besieged city.
Montenegro said Marawi’s Marshall Plan, which was the product of a series of public consultations, was designed to push economic development in the city, its neighboring towns and the Bangsamoro development corridor.
He said projects due immediately were designed to “restore access, restart economic activities and reestablish normalcy in Marawi City and adjacent towns.”
These would also include the rehabilitation of trading centers, boat landings, housing areas, agribusiness support and postharvest facilities, and the reconstruction of school buildings.
“[The medium-term projects] will provide connectivity, develop industries, encourage investments and strengthen institutions to generate meaningful jobs and income, promote social cohesion and prevent the resurgence of extremism in Marawi and the Bangsamoro corridor,” Montenegro said.
“The long-term intervention [hopes] to spur transformational economic growth, promote good governance and fortify the foundations for long-term development of Marawi and Mindanao in general,” he added. —Judy Quiros
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