The Department of Finance (DOF) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Tuesday signed a grant agreement that would pave the way for the release of 2 billion yen or some US$18.66 million in funds for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of war-torn Marawi City and surrounding communities.
The agreement, roughly equivalent to P970 million, was signed by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and JICA Chief Representative to the Philippines Yoshio Wada.
At the signing ceremony, Dominguez acknowledged that this will be the fourth grant extended by the government of Japan specifically to support efforts to rebuild Marawi City.
The first grant was the USD2-million humanitarian assistance through United Nation Children’s Fund and World Food Programme in July 2017.
During the ASEAN Summit here in November 2017, the Japanese government also donated construction equipment for the clearing operations in Marawi such as excavators, bulldozers, and trucks.
Last March, the governments of the Philippines and Japan signed the Exchange of Notes worth USD9.8 million for shelter and livelihood assistance package.
Total assistance of the Japanese government to the Philippines to support initiatives in Marawi is now at USD36 million.
“As of April 2018, the Philippine government has identified 902 priority projects and activities for the rehabilitation and recovery of Marawi City and its surrounding areas,” Dominguez said.
“All of these has an estimated cost of PHP55 billion or roughly USD2.86 billion,” he added.
He added that 47 percent of the budget requirement for Marawi rehabilitation will come from National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council project fund, while other sources of fund will include the national government through various agencies, local government units, non-governmental organizations, development partners, and private sector.
The finance chief said the Philippine government may issue retail bonds for both domestic and international markets intended to raise funds to support the Marawi rehabilitation program.
Meanwhile, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and concurrent Task Force Bangon Marawi chairman Eduardo del Rosario said the government seeks to commence with the rehabilitation projects for Marawi by June 16. PNA