DAVAO CITY—The Philippines has received a total of P35.1 billion (about $670 million) in pledges from the international community to aid in the ongoing rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts for the damaged city of Marawi in Mindanao, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said here Wednesday (Nov. 28).
On behalf of the Philippine government and the Filipino people, Dominguez thanked the following international development partners and countries that have pledged to support the Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program (BMCRRP): Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank (WB), and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); and the governments of China, which was the first country to offer its assistance to Marawi; Japan, for the firm commitments to help the City rise from devastation; and Spain, which offered additional funding support during the session.
Of the P35. 1 billion in pledges, P32.7 billion will be in the form of concessional financing, while P2.4 billion will be in grants.
Dominguez thanked as well the United Nations (UN) and the governments of the United States, Australia, China, Germany, Japan, Korea and Spain for their support for Marawi’s reconstruction efforts in the form of technical assistance and preparatory support needed to ensure the implementation of the Bangon Marawi program and carry out community-based initiatives to help the residents of Marawi rebuild their lives. The ADB and the World Bank also provided support in this area.
He also acknowledged anew the UN and its specialized agencies, as well as the governments of Australia, Italy, Japan, Korea, United States of America, and private sector partners, which have supported relief operations and contributed humanitarian grant assistance totaling around P6.9 billion (approximately $132.4 million).
“We thank the solidarity and generosity of our development partners who took part in this humanitarian effort. We assure you we will continue to work harder in the coming days to hasten the recovery and rehabilitation of this city,” Dominguez told the representatives of the countries and development institutions present at the one-hour pledging session held at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang district here.
He said the government’s planned issuance of Marawi bonds amounting to P13.5 billion (about USD258 million), budgetary support, and the P35.1 billion ($670 million) in pledges from the international community will more than cover the P47.2-billion financing requirement for the BMCRRP.
In his opening remarks at the start of the pledging session, Dominguez said the Department of Finance (DOF), in its capacity as the lead agency of the Task Force Bangon Marawi Finance and Resource Mobilization Support Group, has held consultations with implementing agencies to verify the progress of the BMCRRP as well as determine the available funding sources to complete the city’s rehabilitation.
He said that during the technical meeting held last Nov. 6, the DOF presented for possible funding the said refined list and have since received commitments from the Philippines’ development partners.
The said list has also obtained approval from the Government’s Investment Coordinating Committee last Oct. 25, 2018.
According to Dominguez, the government determined that the overall financing requirement for Marawi would amount to P72.58 billion ($1.39 billion) over a five-year period up to 2022.
Of this amount, P47.20 billion ($901 million) is needed for the BMCRRP; P17.20 billion ($328.3 million) that will be 100 percent sourced from local funding will be spent to rehabilitate the Most Affected Areas; and P1.25 billion ($23.9 million) will be spent for livelihood assistance, which would also be fully sourced from local funds. The overall financing requirement also includes the P6.9 billion ($131.7 million) in humanitarian assistance required during the early stages of the recovery program for Marawi.
Dominguez said 58 percent of this overall financing requirement will come from foreign sources while local funds will be used for the remaining 42 percent needed for the entire effort to rehabilitate and reconstruct the city.
He said that with the financing strategy now mostly in place, “Marawi City will be ready in due time to continue playing its historic role as a center of culture and commerce in this part of Mindanao.”
Marawi, the capital city of Lanao del Sur in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARRM), was attacked 18 months ago by terrorists belonging to the Maute Group. Government forces took five months of intense urban warfare to finally expel members of the terrorist group, which left the most built-up parts of Marawi devastated.
Citing government data, Dominguez said the fighting left several hundred people dead and displaced 77,170 families.
Under Administrative Order No. 3, President Duterte created the Task Force Bangon Marawi to oversee the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts for the city.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) along with the task force later crafted the BMCRRP, detailing the P47.2 billion-peso plan of the government “in bringing the city back to life as an important cultural and commercial center,” Dominguez said.