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P4 billion remain unspent in Marawi rehabilitation fund

Updated

By Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Almost half or some P4 billion of the 2018 P10-billion Marawi rehabilitation fund have remained “unreleased and unutilized.”

This was uncovered by the House Subcommittee on Marawi Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in its last leg of hearing Monday on the status of the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

A woman stands at her ruined house, after residents were allowed to return to their homes for the first time since the battle between government troops and Islamic State militants began on May 2017, at Marawi city, April 19, 2018. (REUTERS/Erik De Castro / MANILA BULLETIN)

A woman stands at her ruined house after residents were allowed to return to their homes for the first time since the battle between government troops and Islamic State militants began on May 2017, at Marawi city, April 19, 2018. (REUTERS/Erik De Castro / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

During the hearing, Anak Mindanao (AMIN) partylist Rep. Makmod Mending Jr. attributed the shortfall to the failure of the implementing agencies to submit their proposals for funding a total P4. 375 billion in appropriations.

“Almost half of the P10 billion is unreleased and unutilized,” he said in the hearing after National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRMC) executive director Ricardo Jalad presented the status of the 2018 Marawi Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program (MRRRP) Fund.

Jalad said that, of the P10- billion MRRRP Fund, P5.624 million have been disposed, leaving a remaining balance of P4, 375, 699.383.77.

Disappointed by the snail-paced utilization of the Marawi rehabilitation fund, Mending demanded an explanation from the Task Force Bangon Marawi, chaired by Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, why some P4 million remained unspent.

“Based on the procedures in the release, and utilization of this interim fund, saan nagkakaroon ng bottleneck? Nasa mid year na tayo ng 2019, 2018 ang appropriations, bakit hindi sya kayang i-release on time?,” he asked.

Del Rosario disclosed that “there was no submission from the agencies.”

“Based on the procedure, the initiative should come from implementing agencies. Sila ang remiss in their duties in submitting the proposal.

Can we say that? Kasi walang dumating na request sa inyo or proposal so walang mapra-process,” Mending said.

Mending even asked Del Rosario if Task Force Bangon Marawi reminded the agencies to submit their proposals.

“Whenever we meet , we (keep on) asking the implementing agencies to submit their proposals to the Office of Civil Defense for funding,” was Del Rosario’s reply to Mending.

Jalad said they “still have to check” those agencies that failed to submit their proposals after Mending asked for the list of agencies.

Mending identified the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as among the agencies which failed to submit their proposals.

“This is my issue with TESDA last year nung nagkaroon ng earmarking sa P10 billion, P903 million para sa TESDA ngayon nakalagay na lang P188 million. Napalaki kasi nung obligasyon ng TESDA sa rehabilitation ng ating kabayayan, ang nangyari nawala ang pondo na yun, P188 na lang (ang natira) . Based on the last presentation, ‘yung P188 million para sa 10,000 katao na ite-train for construction workers kasi nageexpect tayo may training center na gaga win. Sayang ang pondo na hindi natin nagagamit,” he said.

In a separate interview, Del Rosario expressed confidence that the Marawi rehabilitation and reconstruction will be completed by December 2021.

“We are on track and we are on target. We will complete the rehabilitation based on our timeline,” he said.

But, for Mending, the construction of roads will only be completed by December 2021 and not the full restoration of the Marawi City.

He said his panel will submit its final report to its mother committee, House Committee on Disaster Management, chaired by Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman on Monday, June 3.

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