Senator Loren Legarda, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, has committed her full support to restore political, social and economic stability in Marawi City through adequate funding for the government's rehabilitation plans to ensure that the city becomes prosperous again.
Legarda said that as early as now, concerned government agencies led by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) are responding to the immediate needs of the affected population in Marawi. Recovery and rehabilitation plans may be completed soon after the situation on the ground has stabilized.
"Any plan to rebuild Marawi and make it prosperous should be anchored on a resilience plan, which should take into consideration the risks-from natural hazards, health hazards, and security and safety issues," she said.
"Aside from the national budget, sources of funds can also come from Official Development Assistance and private sector funding, but unless a solid plan is in place, funding from private or external sources will be difficult. Risk mitigation mechanisms should also be in place to secure government and private sector investments," she stressed.
The Senator also said that there are existing programs to hasten recovery and rebuilding of lives and communities in the aftermath of armed conflict or a disaster. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) have funds for livelihood programs and support for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) for the entrepreneurial people of Marawi.
"Through micro enterprises, we will be able to provide more opportunities for livelihood to more people. The DTI can help develop and market the products through its Shared Service Facilities (SSF) project which aims to improve competitiveness by providing machinery, equipment, tools, systems, skills and knowledge under a shared system," Legarda explained.
"The government is also fully subsidizing irrigation fees for the farmers and we will make sure they are prioritized for the Department of Agriculture's (DA) extension services. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) can map out a plan to promote cultural tourism in the city," she said.
Legarda also said she filed a bill to promote and develop Lake Lanao, which plays an important role not only in Lanao del Sur where Marawi City is located, but also in the entire Mindanao. Lake Lanao is vital in securing Mindanao's energy needs, supplying water for six of its existing hydroelectric power plants, collectively responsible for 70% of the island's energy needs.
"Investments should be made toward making Marawi a safe and resilient destination to attract more investors and visitors. The government, however, cannot do it alone. It requires collective support and collaboration among stakeholders and private sector. As Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, I will support the funding of programs to make Marawi prosperous again," Legarda concluded.
Source: Senate of the Philippines