MANILA, Philippines – The government has spent almost P3-B in Marawi conflict; this was according to the Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Lorenzana said the estimated figures does not even include the economic loss of the city because of the ongoing war between government troops and the terrorist group, as well as the cost of feeding the tens of thousands evacuees displaced by the conflict.
“That’s just for the Army alone, excluding the Air Force and the Marines. So roughly, we have spent about P2.5-B to P3-B since the start,” Lorenzana told reporters on Friday.
The Defense chief is hoping for Congress to replenish the amount since those were sourced from the funds allocated for the purchase of equipment like helmets, bulletproof vests, and night vision goggles of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
However, Lorenzana said it remains unclear when the fighting will end, but estimated another month or two is needed to complete the operations.
“President Duterte told us not to be in a hurry because it could result to further loss of lives. Besides, those who were caught in the battlefield, we don’t want them to be killed,” the official added.
It has been more than two months since the violence erupted in Marawi City last May 23. The latest death toll, as of August 10, according to government data, has risen to more than 700, including 552 terrorists, 128 soldiers and 45 civilians.