Press Release
June 28, 2017

Drilon says Duterte can realign funds, Congress may pass supplemental budget for Marawi rehabilitation

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon said that President Rodrigo Duterte can use his power to realign the budget to augment funds for the government relief and long-term rehabilitation efforts in Marawi city.

"We support the President's desire to help Marawi City to recover from this tragic incident," Drilon said in a statement.

"In view of the considerable loss and damages that happened in Marawi, I urge the judicious use of available resources to beef up rehabilitation of the city. The President can exercise his power to realign funds in accordance with the recent Supreme Court decision on the use of savings to augment funds," Drilon stressed.

He said that the government may utilize a portion of the P15.7 billion in national disaster reduction and management fund for the swift delivery of basic services, which were temporarily stalled due to the siege.

He said that the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Health should continue to utilize their quick response fund for immediate relief operations.

"We must do everything we can to help our countrymen who have lost their homes, their livelihood, and their loved ones in the midst of war. Immediate and effective aid must come to the people of Marawi whose lives have been affected so much by this terrible tragedy," he said.

He, however, expressed concerns that "calamity fund may not be enough" to fund long-term rehabilitation such as reconstruction of damaged facilities.

"The calamity fund may only be good for immediate relief efforts, but we need funds for the immediate rehabilitation, repair and construction of severely damaged infrastructure, buildings and facilities," he said.

Drilon said that the President can tap unused funds in the budget to augment the funds for the rehabilitation of Marawi.

The Congress, for its part, Drilon emphasized, can pass a supplemental budget authorizing transfer of funds to augment the calamity and contingent funds.

"We can tap the intelligence funds amounting P5.485 billion, P2.5 billion of which is lodged under the Office of the President, while some are sitting idly in agencies' accounts, to fund long-term rehabilitaiton program for the people of Marawi and, more importantly, bring back the delivery of basic services in in the city," Drilon said.

The minority leader said that the government can also create a special fund in the next year's budget for the rehabilitation plan.

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