20-year bonds eyed to help rebuild Marawi

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The Department of Finance (DOF) already plans for the rebuilding of war-torn Marawi City and has tasked the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) to evaluate the possible sale of P30 billion worth of bonds to help underwrite the plan

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III acknowledged the proposed rehabilitation and reconstruction effort for Marawi City would be massive.

According to the finance chief, the “Marawi” bonds would appeal to the patriotic sense of duty of citizens who would like to help rebuild the lives of their fellow Filipinos in the city.

“These are what you would call ‘patriotic’ bonds to help augment the funds that the government has set aside for Marawi’s rehabilitation,” Dominguez said.

National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon said such a project would require the sale of long-dated IOUs, probably 20 years in this case.

Earlier, Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said the government would release at least P15 billion to rehabilitate Marawi City over a period of two years.

The allocation was explained to form part of the proposed budget of the Marawi Reconstruction master plan, spearheaded by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), with an initial fund of P5 billion this year to be sourced from the 2016 and 2017 National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) fund.

“The initial fund of P5 billion for 2017 will be sourced from the 2016 and 2017 NDRRMC fund with a combined remaining balance of around P7.4 billion, and the 2017 contingent fund with a balance of almost P3.35 billion, both as of July 2017,” Diokno said in a statement.

For 2018, a total of P25.5 billion has been allocated for disaster management, with P10 billion being allotted for the recovery and rehabilitation program of Marawi City, according to Diokno.

On Wednesday Senate President Aquilino L. Pimentel III approved the resolution for the creation of a committee to oversee the rehabilitation of Marawi City to support the call to help rebuild the city.

The committee includes Sens. Gregorio B. Honasan II, Panfilo M. Lacson, Grace Poe, Joseph Victor G. Ejercito, and Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV. The members are tasked to monitor the government’s reconstruction program, and also submitting recommendations on matters that are deemed to require immediate improvements.

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Rea Cu is a graduate of Assumption College-Makati with a Bachelor's degree in Communications. She majored in Advertising and is currently the finance reporter of the BusinessMirror.