Mindanao solons back Marawi rehab budget

Next year’s national budget should include funds for the rehabilitation of Marawi City.

This was the consensus of several Mindanaoan lawmakers as the Lower House has started its deliberations for next year’s national budget.

President Rodrigo Duterte first divulged the proposed P3.767 trillion national budget for 2018 during his second State of the Nation Address last July 24.

Dubbed as “The Budget that Reforms and Transforms”, it seeks to allocate the lion share of the budget to educatio—at P691.1 billion.

Rep. Juliette Uy, of the Misamis Oriental’s 2nd district, said she hopes a bigger chunk of that amount would be set aside to rebuild school buildings that were damaged in the ongoing fighting between the government forces and armed extremists in Marawi.

The Mindanao bloc at the House, Rep. Uy said, have agreed to give emphasis on the education sector so portions of it could be used in rebuilding school buildings and classrooms destroyed in the Marawi conflict.

“Although we did not promise, but we will try out best to help, especially in the allocation of the budget [for the construction of Marawi]. We, the Mindanaoan legislators, will fight for its approval,” Uy said.

Deputy House Speaker Ferdinand Hernandez, of the 2nd district of South Cotabato, disclosed that on top of the budget for education, portions of the 2018 will be allocated to fund rebuilding efforts in Marawi.

Specific budgetary requirements may be laid out later after thorough assessment of the damage, Rep. Hernandez said, pointing out that the conflict is still ongoing.