After Duterte hints at leaving Marawi rehab to businessmen, Robredo asks: 'What will happen to funds, donations?'

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
totalITemsFound:
maxPaginationLinks: 10
maxPossiblePages:
startIndex:
endIndex:

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 28) — Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday questioned where the funds raised for the rehabilitation of Marawi City would go if businessmen take over the restoration of the war-torn city.

"So siguro ang unang tanong, anong mangyayari doon sa pondo? Anong mangyayari doon sa pledges saka sa mga donasyon?," Robredo, who recently visited Marawi, said in her weekly radio show BISErbisyong LENI.

[Translation: Maybe the first question is, what will happen to the funds? What will happen to the pledges and donations?]

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday floated the idea of letting affluent residents and business owners in Marawi spend for the rehabilitation, as he said he is not ready to rebuild the city to its state before the 2017 siege.

READ: Duterte hints at leaving full Marawi restoration to affluent residents, businessmen

"I don't think that I should be spending for their building," Duterte said during a situation briefing in Pampanga on the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that jolted parts of Luzon.

"Hindi ako maggagasta ng ano. Maraming pera ang mga tao diyan. Every Maranao there is a businessman. Kasali na 'yung shabu, may pera sila," the President added.

[Translation: I will not spend for anything, the people there have the money. Every Maranao there is a businessman. Count the shabu trade, they have the money.]

Robredo said the Palace should clarify this statement.

"So tingin ko ang magka-clarify nito iyong mga taga-Malacañang, o iyong magka-clarify nito, iyong Task Force Bangon Marawi, kung ano ba iyong gustong sabihin ni Pangulo na, parang, hindi gagawin iyong rehabilitasyon ng pamahalaan kundi iwan na ito sa mga mayayaman na negosyante doon," she said.

[Translation: I think Malacanang or the Task Force Bangon Marawi should clarify what the President meant by saying that the government will not do the rehabilitation and instead leave it to the rich businessmen there.]

Robredo also asked if the programs for Marawi's rehabilitation will continue following Duterte's announcement.

"Kung matatandaan natin last year, noong nag-celebrate ng one-year anniversary after the siege, parang October yata iyon, may mga... parang may mga groundbreaking, may mga ni-launch na mga bagong programa. So siguro iyong tanong, ibig bang sabihin hindi na iyon itutuloy? O itutuloy pa din iyon pero may limitasyon? So hindi natin alam, kasi walang clarification iyong statement na ginawa," she asked.

[Translation: If we can remember, last year when we celebrated the first anniversary of the siege, around October I think, there were groundbreaking and programs launched. Maybe the question should be, does this mean those will not continue? Or they will but with limitations? We don't know because there was no clarification on the statement.]

More than 900 terrorists, 47 civilians and 165 government troops were killed during the May 2017 siege. Some 300,000 residents were displaced, while houses and buildings were turned to rubble.

READ: Remembering the Marawi crisis

The government has set aside ₱67.99 billion for the city's comprehensive rehabilitation. As of February, the Finance Department said over ₱40 billion has been raised through concessional loans as well as international grants.

Task Force Bangon Marawi earlier said authorities hope to complete the rehabilitation by December 2021.

The vice president said the residents who were displaced by the five-month-long war cannot "get on with their lives" as they await the government's next steps.

"Anong gustong sabihin, ano iyong expense ng pag-hands-off ng pamahalaan doon sa rehabilitation? Kasi talagang iyon iyong hinihintay doon," Robredo said.

[Translation: What is the expense of the government taking its hands off the rehabilitation? Because that's really what people are waiting for there.]

"Iyong hinihintay nila, magkaroon na sana ng, parang, panimula ng trabaho sa ground zero, kasi iyong hanapbuhay talaga ng karamihan sa mga tao nandoon," she added.

[Translation: People are waiting to start having livelihood again in the ground zero because the jobs of the people are mostly there.]