Marawi rebuilding to consider Iraq, Afghanistan models: budget chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 18 2017 10:27 AM

A Philippine flag is seen at destroyed houses in Bangolo town at Marawi City on October 17, 2017. Reuters

MANILA - The government will rebuild Marawi City with assistance from World Bank personnel who helped rehabilitate parts of Iraq and Afghanistan, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Wednesday.

Funding is "not a concern" and government will "hit the ground running" after President Rodrigo Duterte declared on Tuesday that the southern city had been freed from Islamic State-inspired militants after nearly 5 months of fighting.

An initial P5 billion will be spent this year to build temporary schools and shelters. An additional P10 billion was earmarked next year for the rebuilding, Diokno told reporters.

The government may draw from P36 billion in settlements with cigarette-maker Mighty Corp and Philippine Airlines. "Patriotic bonds" may also be issued as early as January, he said.

"Majority of Marawi City is now militant-free and ready for rehabilitation," Diokno said, adding, "This effort is going to be a multi-year task."

World Bank officials involved in post-conflict rehabilitation provided initial suggestions to the Philippine economic team during meetings in the US last week, he said.

"Although the scale (in Marawi) is nothing like Iraq... They really have the wealth of experience in post-conflict like Iraq and Afghanistan," Diokno said.

"What we need is technical assistance. Funding is not a concern for us," he said.

Diokno said rebuilding equipment pledged by China had been delivered to the Philippines. -- with reports from Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News