Press Release
November 17, 2020

Drilon questions inadequate funding for Marawi rehab, calamity response in 2021 nat'l budget

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon raised concerns over the government's inadequate funding for calamity response and the rehabilitation of Marawi under the proposed P4.5 trillion national budget for 2021, casting doubt on the government's ability to rebuild and bring back normalcy in the Southern Mindanao city by December 2021.

Given the full extent of damage of typhoons Rolly, Quinta and Ulysses that hit the country in a span of two months, Drilon said the P21 billion allocation for the National Disaster and Risk Management Council (NDRRMC) is grossly insufficient.

During the Senate deliberation on the budget of the NDRRMC Monday, the Senate chief fiscalizer pointed out that the disaster management fund has been declining since 2017.

From P38 billion in 2016, it was slashed by more than half - to P15.7 billion in 2017, then P19.6 billion in 2018, P20 billion in 2019 and P16 billion in 2020, according to Drilon.

This, despite the fact that the country is disaster-prone, he added.

During his interpellation, the minority leader also backed Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri's proposal to use a portion of the controversial P19 billon anti-insurgency fund for relief operations.

Drilon noted that a number of municipalities which suffered the most from the recent typhoons would have barangays included in the 822 barangays identified by NTF-ELCAC.

Drilon then asked Angara if he is open to the statement of Zubiri that part of the anti-red fund be used for calamity response.

Angara answered in affirmative. "There is openness and willingness on the part of this representation to hear out ideas laid out by both the minority leader and majority leader.

Drilon also doubted the government's ability to finish the rehabilitation of Marawi City in Southern Mindanao by the end of next year, citing budgetary woes.

"We seriously doubt the sufficiency of the funds to fund the rehabilitation of Marawi. From our own research, the damage is about P70 billion. We have only allocated P3.5 billion this year and P5 billion next year. We have only been relying on donations and ODAs (official development assistance) to fund the rehabilitation," Drilon said.

Sec. Eduardo Del Rosario earlier said the government intends to finish the rehabilitation of Marawi by December 2021, Drilon noted.

It was revealed during the deliberation that at least P60 billion is needed for the rehabilitation of Marawi but only over P11 billion has been released. For 2021, only P5 billion was allotted for Marawi rehabilitation.

"The rehabilitation fund is grossly insufficient. Our countrymen there have been suffering for the last two years. From the reports that we received, they are really complaining about the very slow rehabilitation that is being undertaken. Indeed, that is confirmed now by the meager budget for next year.

"We are still talking about a P48 billion balance out of a budget of P60 billion to rehabilitate Marawi. Would the current and the budget next year be enough to complete the rehabilitation by December 2021 as publicly committed by officials in charge of Marawi?" Drilon emphasized.

Drilon said he hopes the Senate will accelerate a bit the funding of the rehabilitation, to which Senate Finance Committee Chairman Senator Sonny Angara agreed.

"We hope that in the period of amendments, the sponsor can consider an addition to the Marawi rehabilitation," Drilon said.

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