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Gov’t eyes 4,000 Maranao conscripts

By Genalyn D. Kabiling

The government is looking at the possible recruitment of 4,000 Maranaos to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

President Duterte has ordered concerned officials to study such enlistment during a Cabinet meeting last Monday, according to his spokesman Harry Roque.

“He instructed the Presidential Adviser on Mindanao Affairs, TESDA, the Presidential Adviser on OFW to study ways and means to conscript into the AFP and the PNP at least 4,000 Maranaos affected by the fighting in Marawi and other areas where the Maranaos have settled,” Roque said.

Government troops recently flushed out terrorists who laid a deadly siege on Marawi City after a five-month intense battle. Thousands of families have been displaced from the houses due to the conflict.

Full rebuilding efforts will begin as soon as the military has cleared the whole area of any remaining unexploded ordnance and improvised explosive devices.

In the Cabinet meeting, the President has affirmed his commitment to find adequate funds for the rebuilding efforts of war-torn Marawi City.

Roque said the rebuilding cost of Marawi will reach more or less P50 billion based on the report of Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council head Eduardo del Rosario to the President and the Cabinet.

“He (Duterte) committed that he will find funding sources for this P50 billion although in the 2018 budget, P20 billion is already appropriated for this purpose,” Roque said.

Also, the government decided to have the final say on the terms of reference of the massive development of Marawi. The President’s decision was reached upon the recommendation of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, said Roque.

“The terms of reference for the proponent that would rebuild the most affected area that these terms of reference should be provided by government and not by the proponent,” Roque said.

Last week, Malacanang announced that Marawi will require an initial estimate of P49.81 billion for its rehabilitation after the city damage and losses reached around P18.2 billion. The latest figures were obtained from post-conflict needs assessment conducted by the government.

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Written by Tempo Online

Antonio B. Balderrama, 78

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