Senator to push Marawi rehab fund in 2018 budget

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Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian met with local government and military officials in Marawi City.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 1) — A senator who visited Marawi City Sunday vowed to push for the inclusion of the Marawi rehabilitation fund in the 2018 national budget.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Economic Affairs Committee, met with local government and military officials to discuss ways to jumpstart the local economy.

“Dapat i-level up natin ‘yung investment at rehabilitation dito. We are looking at economic facilities, 'yung market at schools,” Gatchalian said.

At least ₱47 billion is needed to rehabilitate the city, and Gatchalian said he is looking at ₱20 billion for the first tranche of the rehabilitation fund in the 2018 budget.

“First of all, i-analyze natin ang priorities at mahabol at mailagay sa budget,” he added.

[Translation: Let’s analyze our priorities so we can include it in the budget.]

Gatchalian said they intend to get the ₱20 billion from calamity and rehabilitations funds. Part of the plan is to give housing and livelihood grants to war-weary residents.

According to the Office of Civil Defense, the city’s full rehabilitation and development may take two to three years to complete.

One more week

Meanwhile, Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command chief Carlito Galvez asked for another week to finish the war in Marawi.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said the fire fight will end Sunday, Oct. 1.

While the battle zone is just limited to an area the size of two to three football fields and the terrain highly complex, Galvez said only 50 Maute fighters remain.

Early on Sunday, around 300 Catholic soldiers heard the mass at the St. Mary's Cathedral, the first since the military recovered the church.

At the background, intense fire fight could be heard.

CNN Philippines' Correspondent Gerg Cahiles and Digital Producer Chad de Guzman contributed to this report.