Other inputs needed to rebuild Marawi
Aweek before Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana declared the end of the Marawi siege on Oct. 23, 2017, Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez of the Western Mindanao Command said they were looking at three options for rehabilitating Marawi. First, rebuild damaged structures; second, relocate residents whose homes were damaged to another area; and third, put up an entire new city in another place, with Marawi’s destroyed areas kept as a reminder of the war.
Hopefully, Task Force Bangon Marawi, which is charged with assessing and planning recovery, will broaden its options and give premium to civilian perspectives. Civilian views, particularly local ones, are needed to surface concerns, discuss and examine options, and build agreements on the whys, whos, hows, whats, wheres, whens, and wherefores of the recovery and rehabilitation of Marawi and Lanao del Sur.
For starters, they will likely say that the three options articulated by the military are not mutually exclusive and should be part of a comprehensive and integrated set of measures.
Unlike other post-war experiences in which the Philippine government mainly rebuilt damaged public infrastructure and left civilians in rural areas to deal with damages to houses and economic facilities, there is no ignoring the swath of destruction in nearly the entire eastern part of Marawi City’s urban barangays, and sections of the western area.
Government cannot just focus on the restoration of public infrastructure, goods and services in Marawi, and leave the rest to private means. The horrendous levels of damage make unrealistic any expectations that private resources could be relied on to fund reconstruction.
By the City Government’s initial reckoning, more than 1,000 houses were partially to totally damaged at an estimated P4 billion and economic costs at another P4 billion.
Many of the destroyed structures were not just domiciles but also places of business. Enterprising Meranaws used lower floors for their economic activities and lived on upper levels. The current focus on construction of temporary and permanent shelters, while important, is inadequate in assisting internally displaced persons (IDPs) find durable solutions to their predicaments.
The Recovery, Rehabilitation and Peacebuilding Plan for Marawi and Province of Lanao delSur, the preparation of which was anchored by the Provincial Government with the support of the United Nations Development Programme, applied the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Framework on Durable Solutions.
IDPs are required to come up with particular tracks that are applicable to Marawi under 1) sustainable reintegration at the place of origin or “return”; 2) sustainable local integration in areas where IDPs take refuge or local integration; and 3) sustainable integration in another part of the country or settlement elsewhere. Partners are needed to help operationalize the tracks.-- from SunStar Davao
(to be continued)