By Chino S. Leyco
The Department of Finance (DOF) said that the government is working on the funding mix for the five-year plan rehabilitation and reconstruction of the devastated City of Marawi.
In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the report from Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) chairman Eduardo del Rosario estimated the cost of reconstruction to reach P62 billion.
Dominguez said around P10 billion of the total budget for the Marawi rehabilitation program was already included in the General Appropriations Act of the government this year, hence the need to explore ways on how to finance the additional P52 billion.
“Now that we have a hard number, we will now go to the details on where the money will come from. Certain portions of the money will come from grants,” Dominguez said.
Japan and China are among the various countries that have committed to provide grants to aid in the reconstruction of Marawi City.
“This is over five years. This is not immediate so it’s over five years and there is a progression — the total is P62 billion. So we will have to do now our financial planning,” Dominguez said.
Dominguez said the rehabilitation budget would cover the use of heavy equipment and the plan by the government to acquire certain properties in the area.
“Some (portions) of (the budget), I said, will come in terms of grants from outside and also from domestic (sources),” Dominguez said.
Dominguez also said the finance department is currently planning on the timing of the issuance of the Marawi bonds for the purpose of generating additional funds for the city’s rehabilitation and reconstruction.
He also said the DOF was thinking of issuing the bonds in several tranches.
“We will issue it definitely in tranches because we should not borrow more than what we need for that year… We already have P10 billion already budgeted so we will go and get more details on how much is actually required and at what dates,” Dominguez said.
He said the government might issue the Marawi bonds as retail treasury bonds “so that people will really feel that they are participating in the rebuilding of Marawi City.”
The tenor of the bonds would depend on market conditions and the issuance might be P10 billion a year, with the government probably “end(ing) up raising maybe P40 billion of the P62 billion” total rehabilitation cost, Dominguez said.
Dominguez floated last year the idea of issuing the bonds to help in financing the rehabilitation of Marawi City.
He earlier ordered the Bureau of the Treasury to study the issuance of the debt securities. He said the bonds would appeal to those citizens who would like to help rebuild the lives of their fellow Filipinos in the war-torn city.