Other in­puts needed to re­build Marawi

Sun.Star Cebu - - OPINION - MAGS Z. MAGLANA opin­ion@sunstar.com.ph

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)

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