Rejection of EU aid not a setback, exec says
The Duterte administration’s decision to reject aid from the European Union (EU), even for the rehabilitation of Marawi City, was not a setback for the city’s rebuilding, a government official said on Monday.
Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima of the Office of Civil Defense said that other countries and international financial institutions pledged to support the city’s rehabilitation after government troops liberated it from Islamic State (IS)-inspired terrorists.
“Of course… there are other donors. There are possible— other possible donors,” Purisima said in a media briefing.
“And in fact, the finance and resource management subcommittee is meeting as we speak in the Department of Finance to discuss the options that we have in terms of donations, and in terms of accepting grants,” he said.
Purisima said Thailand, India and China had provided assistance for Marawi evacuees.
“We will, of course, exhaust all other possibilities and we are being also assisted by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank regarding this,” he said.
President Duterte last week announced that the Philippines would no longer accept new grants from the European Union due to its continued criticism of the government’s bloody war against drugs.
Purisima said he had no information if individual European countries had offered help to rebuild Marawi.
“They might have gone directly to the agencies. I still have no information on that,” he said.
When asked if the government would accept pledges from European countries, Purisima said: “Well, the task force would have to make a decision on that in light of the pronouncement of our President.”
The government said that at least P50 billion was needed for the rehabilitation of Marawi. It had set aside P5 billion this year and P10 billion next year.
“As of last count, we have 72,000 or so families, or 359,000 individuals spread out … in evacuation centers and [classified as] home-based. So, this is really a big requirement in terms of relief efforts that we continue to provide them,” Purisima said.
He said that the National Housing Authority planned to put up at least 1,100 transitional shelters for Marawi evacuees before the year ended.
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