Latest News for Philippine Defense

Arroyo commits to extend validity of Marawi rehab fund

President Rodrigo Duterte also asks House leaders to allocate funds in the 2019 budget for the housing projects for military, police, and Yolanda victims

President Rodrigo Duterte and Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had a meeting in Malacanang on Tuesday where Arroyo committed to pass a joint resolution that would extend the validity of the P19.6-billion National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund for the rehabilitation of Marawi City until the end of 2019.

House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya, Deputy Speaker Arthur Yap and Arroyo’s consultant Medy Poblador were also at the meeting.

Recently, lawmakers raised P6.575 million to help the government’s rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City, which was destroyed after months-long clashes between government troops and terrorists from the Maute Group and a faction of the Abu Sayyaf Group.

Efforts to rebuild Marawi has met setbacks. The government disqualified the Chinese-led Bangon Marawi Consortium as it had no financial capacity to undertake the massive project.

The United Nations Refugee Agency also said the displaced residents have yet to fully benefit from the relief promised by government despite billions in budget.

Meanwhile, Duterte asked the House leaders at the same meeting to allocate funds under the proposed 2019 budget for the military and police’s housing projects.

Arroyo’s office also revealed that Duterte wants to allocate funds in next year’s P3.757-trillion budget for the water system in the housing project for Yolanda victims.

However, the Commission on Audit (COA) noted anomalies in 28 housing projects worth about P10.62 billion under the housing program for the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

COA also noted several irregularities in 18 projects worth P1.508 billion under the Yolanda Permanent Housing Program.

The House has approved the 2019 budget on second reading.#