COTABATO CITY – The Bangsamoro Government, through its Marawi Rehabilitation Program (MRP), is actively coordinating with relevant agencies in response to the imminent eviction of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from their temporary shelters in Marawi City.
The eviction notice for the IDPS was issued following the expiration of the lease agreements between the state and the landowners.
In an official statement released on October 9, Program Manager Atty. Anna Tarhata Basman said that the MRP “remains steadfast in its commitment to addressing the needs of the IDPs.”
Basman mentioned that BARMM’s MRP is supplementary to the national and local governments’ efforts and that it mostly plays an external role in key decision and policy-making such as the management of lease agreement over transitory shelters.
Nevertheless, upon learning about the impending eviction of the IDPS from the Boganga and Rorogagus temporary shelters, Basman said the MRP immediately initiated bilateral communication with the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) and engaged with Mindanao Virtual Protection Coordination Platform (MVPCP) to proactively plan for, and if possible, prevent the anticipated massive displacement.
“We have likewise sought and continue to actively seek an audience with the LGU of Marawi City to discuss appropriate responses to address this particular issue,” Basman added.
MSSD Minister Atty. Raissa Jajurie also expressed the readiness of her ministry to provide any necessary assistance to ease the challenges faced by the IDPs.
“Nagkaroon po ng pagkakataong makapag-usap ang MSSD, MRP, at iba pang stakeholders sa isang pagpupulong. Kailangan talagang tumugon sa pangangailangan ng mga IDPs, bagamat ang ang problema na ito ay may kinalaman sa lease ng lupa — bagay na hindi po tayo talaga kasali dahil ang trabaho po talaga ng BARMM ay sumuporta sa ginagawa ng national at local government unit,” Jajurie said in an exclusive interview.
[The MSSD, MRP, and other concerned stakeholders had an initial meeting regarding this matter. We really need to respond to the needs of the IDPs, although this issue is related to land leasing, which we are not directly involved in because BARMM’s primary function (in rehabilitating Marawi) is to support the national and local governments.]
“Pero dahil may ganito na pong problema patungkol sa security ng panananatili nila sa kanilang temporary shelters, definitely po ay maghahanap tayo ng mga pamamaraan upang makatulong sa mga IDPs,” Jajurie added.
[But because there is such problem concerning their security in staying in temporary shelter, we will definitely look for ways to help the IDPs.]
The minister shared that MSSD has an array of programs specifically for the IDPs and they will continue to collaborate with other agencies with mandates that could possibly assist them.
BARMM prioritizes support to Marawi rehabilitation
Providing support to the rehabilitation of Marawi is among the 12-point priority agenda of Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim. In fact, he established MRP in 2020 as complementary support to the national government’s Task Force Bangon Marawi initiative.
“Alam natin na ang nasabing rehabilitasyon ay nasa kamay pa rin ng national government. Ngunit sinisigurado natin na nakatutok ang Pamahalaang Bangsamoro sa nasabing usapin at mag-aaabot ng lahat ng kinakailangang tulong o suporta upang maisaayos ang Lungsod ng Marawi,” Ebrahim stated during MRP’s launch on October 26, 2020
[We know that the said rehabilitation is still under the control of the national government. However, we assure that the Bangsamoro Government is closely monitoring this matter and will extend all necessary aid or support to help in the recovery of Marawi City.]
MRP encompasses all BARMM-funded and BARMM-initiated projects and activities aimed at expediting the recovery and rehabilitation of the IDPs affected by the 5-month-long Marawi Siege in 2017.
These projects include the Bangsamoro Sagip Kabuhayan (BSK), installation of water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities (WaSH) facilities in all temporary and permanent shelters within and outside BARMM, medical support, cash aid provision to all IDP households regardless of inclusion in the Kathanor list, technical assistance for indigent families seeking to rebuild in their own lands within the Most Affected Areas (MAA), and the construction of permanent shelters for the IDPs.
According to MRP’s latest accomplishment report as of September 2023, they are currently implementing a total of 39 projects. Of this, 12 are for shelter assistance, 8 for livelihood and financial assistance, 6 for WaSH, 4 health services, 4 for education, 2 for food security, 2 for addressing data gaps, and the remaining one project is intended for transitional justice.
MRP has supported a total of 8,652 IDPs from the 24 barangays classified as most affected areas (MAA) and one barangay from less affected area (LAA). Notably, included in this total are vulnerable beneficiaries, wherein 132 are persons with disability (PWDs), 938 are senior citizens, 125 are guardians of orphaned beneficiaries, and 477 are sickly individuals.
All of these projects are implemented in coordination with MSSD, Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE), Ministry of Human Settlements and Development (MHSD), Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR), Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission (BHRC), Marawi City Water District, City Local Government Unit of Marawi City, and Local Government Units of Kapai and Saguiaran.
The regional government’s commitment to Marawi City’s recovery echoes the words of CM Ebrahim, assuring that the city remains a top priority, regardless of its rehabilitation being under national oversight. This commitment, combined with the efforts of all involved agencies, provides hope for a promising future for the IDPs and the entire Marawi community. (Norjana Malawi/BIO)