Senator Nancy Binay said that the inclusion of indigenous peoples (IPs) as well as internally displaced persons (IDPs) was vital to the efforts of the national government to rebuild a better Marawi.
“Now that the liberation of Marawi has been achieved, our efforts in the city will no doubt focus more on its rehabilitation. But we must remember that it is important that we also listen to our kababayans, and not just our leaders and experts, as they are the ones who have been displaced from their homes in Marawi,” Binay pointed out.
“If we are to rebuild a better Marawi, it is important that we involve those who will eventually return to rebuild their lives there in the creation of a comprehensive rehabilitation plan that will not only address the devastation caused by the clashes but will also come up with solutions to address lingering issues like poverty, inequality, and misunderstanding in order to put a stop to extremism and radicalization in the region,” the legislator said.
In particular, the lawmaker urged that IPs and IDPs be included in the efforts of the 23-member Task Force Bangon Marawi which was created by the national government earlier this year to lead in the recovery and rehabilitation of the war-torn city. Composed of the heads of various government agencies, the task force is responsible for the government’s response to the immediate needs of those displaced by the clashes in Marawi.
“I hope that our IPs and IDPs will be allowed to participate in the task force as it will be deciding on issues of security and safety, housing and infrastructure, livelihood opportunities, education, and psychosocial support for those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health problems that may have been caused by the clashes in Marawi,” the senator said.
“By listening to our brothers and sisters who have been directly affected by the clashes, we ensure that our efforts match their needs and that they are truly represented in deciding on matters that will shape the future of Marawi City. I believe that involving them in the government’s efforts will greatly impact how they perceive the future of Marawi–one that is truly inclusive and concerned with the needs of its people,” she added.
Months of clashes between government troops and terrorists have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes in the city, resulting in overcrowding and many other problems in the nearby evacuation facilities. And while Marawi City has been declared liberated as of October 17, Binay lamented that problems faced by IDPs remain.
“May mga home-based evacuees po tayong pakiramdam ay hindi sila priority ng pamahalaan. Sadyang nakalulungkot ang marinig ang mga ganitong pagdaramdam ng ating mga kababayan,” Binay said after hearing the feedback gathered by her office during its relief efforts to evacuees from Marawi.
“Kaya nga po importanteng magmula rin sa kanila ang mga suhestiyon para sa pagbangon ng Marawi. Sana hindi lamang mga pinuno ng mga ahensya ng pamahalaan ang nag-uusap tungkol sa pagbangon ng Marawi. Sino pa ba ang makakapagsabi kung ano ang kailangan ng Marawi kung hindi ang mga tao nito? Kasama po dapat dito ang mga nasa evacuation centers, maging ang mga home-based evacuees natin na minsan ay nakakaramdam na tila hindi sila priority ng pamahalaan, at lalung-lalo na po ang mga kababayan nating IPs na doble ang pagdurusa dahil sa patung-patong na isyung kinakaharap nila,” she said.