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ADB pledges $5.2 M for Marawi rehab

MANILA, Philippines — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pledged to provide $5.225 million in grant to the Philippine government for the rehabilitation of the conflict-hit Marawi City, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

The ADB was among the multilateral institutions that have expressed interest to extend assistance for the reconstruction of Marawi, Finance Assistant Secretary Ma. Edita Tan said in an interview.

“From the ADB, they pledged a $5.225-million grant for needs assessment of Marawi rehabilitation,” she said.

Tan said the Manila-based multilateral agency is also designing another grant package with the Japan Fund For Poverty Reduction (JFPR), as well as additional loans.

“There is also a grant that they (ADB) are packaging from the Japan Fund for Poverty (Reduction) but there’s no amount yet. And they offered additional emergency loans based on the post-needs assessment that they have to conduct,” she said.

Meanwhile, Tan said the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is also keen to provide assistance for the Marawi rehabilitation efforts, although the amount of loan/grant has not yet been identified.

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Earlier, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the World Bank has committed to share its technical expertise for the rebuilding of Marawi City.

He emphasized the need for the assistance of the World Bank and other foreign partners as the government has limited experience in dealing with post-conflict situations.

“We’re looking for expertise in planning, rehabilitation of residents, providing them with post-traumatic counseling, including teachers and students. And then we were suggesting that they rebuild something like an economic zone for local manufacturers,” Dominguez said.

Aside from foreign aid, the country’s economic managers are also planning to issue P30-billion in Marawi bonds next year to enable Filipino citizens participate in the rehabilitation efforts.

“This is a domestic problem. While we welcome foreign assistance, I think the larger part of the Philippines should help Marawi. Filipinos should all be involved in the reconstruction of this site,” Dominguez said.

However, economic managers have yet to give the initial estimates for the budget required for the reconstruction of Marawi, pending the completion of the master plan.

Meanwhile, in a statement released over the weekend, Dominguez said the liberation of Marawi City from terrorist groups is expected to further boost investor confidence in the country.

“We expect investor confidence to strengthen further and the economy to grow even faster now that the conflict has been virtually resolved and the government has started raising spending on infrastructure and human capital development, which will supercharge growth and create more jobs for our people,” Dominguez said.

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