MANILA, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines needs an additional 8.5 billion pesos (161.2 million U.S. dollars) to rebuild and rehabilitate the southern city of Marawi, a government official said on Wednesday.
Ricardo Jalad, executive director of the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said the additional fund is needed on top of the 3.5 billion pesos (66.39 million dollars) Marawi funds allocated in the proposed national budgets for 2019 which the Philippine Senate approved on Monday.
The Philippine government is trying to rebuild Marawi after five months of fierce fighting between government forces and terrorists in 2017 ruined the city and displaced thousands of its residents.
Many internally displaced people (IDP) are slowly returning to the Marawi city and surrounding municipalities after the five-month siege in 2017. However, the delivery of basic utilities, social services, and educational resources for children of IDPs have yet to catch up with the needs of residents.
Jalad said the task force assessed the situation and found out that additional funding is needed to rebuild Marawi.
"We are recommending augmentation of the 3.5 billion pesos to ensure supportability, and we are eyeing 8.5 billion pesos additional which hopefully our lawmakers will provide," Jalad said.