POSTSCRIPT / April 30, 2019 / Tuesday


Opinion Columnist

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What happened to Marawi funds?

WHERE would the billions raised and donated for the rebuilding of Marawi go if affluent businessmen there were to take over the restoration of their city devastated in the battle with ISIS-inspired militants from May to October in 2017?

President Duterte floated last week the idea of having wealthy families rebuild the once prosperous city even as some 250,000 displaced residents are still picking up the pieces virtually on their own. More than 900 terrorists, 165 troops and 47 civilians were killed in the five-month fighting.

“I don’t think I should be spending for their building,” Duterte said in Pilipino in a briefing in Pampanga on the killer earthquake that hit Luzon last Monday. “I won’t spend for anything, the people there have the money. Every Maranao there is a businessman. Count in the shabu trade, they have the money.”

His saying that 16 months after the fighting ended startled many observers, including some senators and Vice President Leni Robredo who said: “Last year when we marked the first anniversary of the siege, there were ground-breaking and programs launched. Does this mean those will not continue, or they will but with limitations?”

The government reportedly has set aside ₱67.99 billion for the city’s rebuilding. The Department of Finance said that over ₱40 billion has been raised as of February through loans and international grants.

 Netizen rants on loans, aid, projects

WE CAN understand then the rant on loans, aid and projects on Facebook by one Khulafu Lapulapu (a pseudonym?) that we find relevant enough to share here. We tried retaining the flavor of his language, but had to boil down the piece to fit our space:

“Nasaan na, Duterte, ang inutang mo, pinautang sa iyo at ang tulong na binigay sa iyo para sa mga Filipino?

Noong 2016, nagpirmahan ang China at Pilipinas ng 27 loan agreements. Isa lang sa 27 ang tinupad ng China – ang P4.372-billion loan agreement para sa Chico River Pump Irrigation Project. Nasaan na ang budget na ito, Duterte? Hindi pa nasisimulan ito.

“Nagbigay din ang China ng P1.5 billion para sa Post-Conflict Rehab Marawi. Nasaan na ang budgetna ito?

“Nagbigay din ang China ng 47 equipment worth P150 million para sa rebuilding ng Marawi. Ground-breaking pa lang ang nangyari.

“(Around P75 billion ang kailangan daw ni Duterte para sa Marawi.)

“Nasaan na ang tulong financial ng Japan for Marawi Rehab na P970 million?

“Nasaan na ang tulong ng US for Marawi Rehab na P1.7 billion?

“Nasaan na ang pangakong P3billion tulong ng European Union para sa rehab pa rin ng Marawi at para sa iba pang humanitarian projects nila sa buong Mindanao?

“Umabot na sa P250 billion ang tulong ng iba pang bansa para sa Marawi Rehab. Nasaan na ito, Duterte?

“Nasaan na ang P5 billion na Yolanda fund na nilagay mo para sa Marawi Rehab?

“Nagbebenta pa ngayon ang Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas ng government bonds para sa Marawi Rehab. Di pa ba sapat ang pondo ngayon na hawak mo? Bakit di pa nagsisimula ang rehab?


“NASAAN na ang inutang mo sa Japan na P4.57 billion para sa road expansion sa Bulacan?

“Nasaan na rin ang 600-billion-yen na loan ng Japan for the Subway Project sa Metro Manila na sabi ni DoTr Secretary Tugade ay sisimulan na? Puro ground-breaking, di naman sinisimulan!

“Nasaan na rin ang concessional loan from South Korea worth $1 billion para sa infra projects ng Build! Build! Build! mo, Duterte? (Kailangan niya raw ng P8 trillion to P9 trillion para sa Build! Build! Build!)

“Ang pondo para sa Build! Build! Build! ay ang koleksyon sa excise tax na pinataw sa petroleum products (TRAIN Law).

“Last year, nakakolekta ang Duterte administration ng P40 billion dahil sa TRAIN Law. Nasaan na ito? Madadagdagan pa ito this 2019 dahil pinatupad na ngayon ang second tranche ng excise tax sapetroleum products na P2.00Next year meron pang additional excise tax na P1.50.


“MARAMI pang bansa at mga bangko sa Pilipinas ang inutangan ni Duterte na di ko na nilagay sa artikulo kong ito. Malulula kayo!

“Di pa kasama ang uutangin ni Duterte sa China na P740 billion para sa Build! Build! Build! kapalit ng Joint Exploration na gustong mangyari ng China with the Philippines sa Recto (Reed) Bank sa West Philippine Sea.

“Di bat napapaloob ito sa pinirmahan na 29 Memorandums of Understanding noong dumalaw si President Xi Jinping sa Pilipinas last year?

“May tumatakbo na bang projects para sa Marawi Rehab at para sa Build! Build! Build! mo? Wala!

“Nagbayad na nga tayo ng P27 million sa Asian Development Bank at sa Japan as penalty for the delay ng projects ng DPWH Secretary mo na si Mark Villar para sa Build! Build! Build!.

“Last November, may pautang ang Japan na $336 million para sa Pasig to Marikina River Channel Improvement Project. Nasimulan na ba? Hindi pa rin!

“In January 2019, nangutang na agad tayo sa Japan ng $202 million para sa road projects sa Davao. Ang Marawi Rehab di pa nasisimulan, tapos road projects muna ng Davao?

“Ang latest na inutang na naman ay sa Japan ulit. Ito ay para sa Philippine National Railways projectna dating maanomalyang railway project ni Gloria Arroyo noong 2002 — ang Tutuban-Malolos PNR Project.

“Sisimulan daw ito noong Feb. 15, 2019. Nasimulan na ba? Hindi pa. Ground-breaking lang.

“Pero ang usapan natin with Japan sa pautang na ito ay railway ito from Tutuban to Malolos to Clark International Airport in the North and to Calamba, Laguna, in the South.

“Ang laking pautang ito ng Japan sa Pilipinas! — $1.41 billion para sa 109-kilometer project! Bale ilang million dollars yan per kilometer?

“Di masamang mangutang kung may nakikitang proof na nagmamaterialize ang projects na pinupuntahan ng inutang mo na kaming Pilipino naman ang magpapasan at magbabayad.

“Ang problema, wala kaming nakikitang projects na nasimulan na! Puro ground-breaking! Nasaan na ang perang inutang, tulong at pautang sa iyo, Duterte?”

(First published in the Philippine STAR of April 30, 2019)

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