Kick-starting Marawi rehab with P35B in pledges

SIMULTANEOUSLY held with the Sulong Pilipinas Forum in Davao last Nov. 28, 2018 was the much awaited pledging session to drum up funding support for the Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program (BMCRRP).

In it, the Philippine government received a total of P35.1 billion (about $670 million) in pledges from the international community.

Of this figure, P32.7 billion will be in the form of concessional financing, while P2.4 billion will be in grants from institutions such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank (WB), and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the governments of China and Japan and Spain.

These funds are expected to arrive by early next year.

In behalf of the Philippine government, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez thanked 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 injection of fresh funds into the rehabilitation efforts dovetails on  public infrastructure projects under “Build, Build, Build” near the area such as the Panguil Bay bridge that shortens travel time between Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental, and complements private developments in nearby Misamis Oriental, Iligan and Cagayan de Oro. It also coincides with the future expansion of the Laguindingan International Airport.

Ayala Land in particular just launched its Habini Bay mixed use project, which aims to develop 500 hectares of land in Laguindingan and Alubijid Misamis Oriental at the midpoint of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities into a new central business district that can attract other investments and spur employment in the area.

Other property developments are set to take place in northern Mindanao that will jumpstart new growth.

Iligan and Cagayan de Oro cities are the new focus of reside tial property developers hoping to  fill in the housing backlog created after the Marawi siege.

Note that only 30,000 of the estimated 200,000 Marawi population stayed in evscuation centers. Most residents moved in with relatives in nearby cities and are not expected to return to Marawi, at least not for a long time. Many will seek or create new opportunities in the cities they have moved into.

Likewise, the second Davao Bukidnon road via Maramag to Talakag will help decongest the Sayre highway that passes through Malaybalay and provide a shorter route between Cagayan de Oro and Davao cities creating additional opportunity along the route for local vegetable farms to supply to Cagayan de Oro and Cebu.

The rehabilitation effort of Marawi is by itself expected to generate employment and opportunity in the construction and operation of new enterprises, apart from fixing old land tenure issues in the core of Marawi City, where many residents have conflicting land claims over properties. In it, new opportunities may be found which will also play a part in expanding the economy.

We hope that the rehabilitation process proceeds at the soonest. Its entry will not only rebuild lives, but boost the local economy.

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