MANILA - The government has set aside P5 billion for the rehabilitation of Marawi City this year as clashes between government troops and Maute terrorists are expected to end soon.
Budget Secretary Ben Diokno said Wednesday that an initial rehabilitation fund of P5 billion will come from the contingent fund and funds being held by different government agencies.
"Makakalikom kami ng mga P5 billion this year kasi second half na diba? Eh hanggang ngayon di pa naman namin alam talaga ano yung mga pagkakagastusan natin," he said in an interview on DZMM.
(We can raise P5 billion this year because it's already the second half of the year and until now we don't really know what are the allocations for the budget.)
The P5 billion initial fund this year will most likely be doubled next year, according to Diokno.
Based on the 2017 national budget, the government has a contingent fund of P5.5 billion and a calamity fund of P37.255 billion.
Diokno added that his department has also alerted state-owned banks Landbank and Development Bank of the Philippines for possible loans.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer-in-Charge Catalino Cuy on Wednesday said the government for now will not provide cash assistance for the repair and rehabilitation of houses and buildings that were damaged by airstrikes and ground assaults. Loans however are being prepared for those who wish to avail.
"Wala eh (non-loans assistance). But I understand merong moratorium sa payment ng loans sa mga affected borrowers," Cuy said.
Diokno said there is also no need to pass a supplemental budget to augment rehabilitation funds for Marawi this year since they will submit the proposed 2018 national budget right after the President's State of the Nation Address.
"Pagkatapos ng SONA ni Presidente magsusubmit na kami ng 2018. Parang wala naman ng sense magkakaroon ka pa ng supplemental budget this year," Diokno said.
(We will submit our proposed 2018 budget after the SONA of the President so it seems that there is no sense to have a supplemental budget this year.)
Clashes between government troops and Maute terrorists erupted last May 23 leaving thousands displaced and hundreds dead.
As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, government placed the death toll in Marawi City at 397, including 299 terror suspects, 71 government troops and 27 civilians.-with a report from Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News