With initial PhP10B, DBM works with OCD, stakeholders to tweak post-conflict rebuilding for Marawi

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OV10 Bronco bomb blast
Debris and smoke rises in the air after an OV-10 Bronco aircraft releases a bomb in Marawi. (Reuters)

The Office of Civil Defense and the Department of Budget and Management have initiated due diligence action to consolidate baseline data gathering for addressing the level of post-conflict resources for rebuilding the Islamic City of Marawi.

Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima of the Office of Civil Defense said preliminary assessment have started on damage to physical structures by the more than two months of running battles, which have still not quite abated up to now, but, he stressed, the impact on the human aspect must take precedence.

The damage to infrastructure will be more clearly discerned after the fighting completely subsides and the smoke clears, so that a realistic systematic assessment can be made, which, for now remains a work in progress as holdouts of the terrorist Maute Group continue to resist the government campaign to clear Marawi of all jihadist enemies of the state.

The post-conflict needs assessment will define the roadmap of the rehabilitation of Marawi. That will be undertaken my a multi-disciplinary consortium that included the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), local government units, the Mindanao State University, and other relevant stakeholders.

According to Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno, his office would be interested in seeing the roadmap in order to evolve a realistic budget scenario for the multi-year reconstruction and rehabilitation effort.

For starters, DBM has a ballpark of figure of roughly PhP10 billion available for the purpose.

DBM has also taken into consideration the prospective budget for recruiting some 20,000 additional soldiers for the AFP, on top of 10,000 additional men and women for the police force, for Mindanao, as proposed by President Rodrigo Duterte.