Other inputs needed to rebuild Marawi, 2
Internally displaced persons (IDPs) naturally desire to return to Marawi. This will be a big challenge in the case of the estimated 84,570 residents of 33 barangays adjudged by the Marawi local government unit (LGU) to be “most affected” and who account for 41 percent of Marawi’s population.
Unexploded ordnances, debris and other risks make rehabilitation complicated. For those who are originally from other places in Lanao del Sur, the notion of “return” perhaps would more realistically be a return to their home municipalities rather than an immediate return to the city.
LGUs around Lake Lanao signified readiness to absorb willing IDPs. But a combination of measures is needed to entice IDPs to go back to their places of origin.
It is traditional to provide returning IDPs with pabaon or balik-bayan cash assistance. But it is a passive and insufficient incentive for those who left their hometowns for better economic opportunities elsewhere.
Sustainable return would be a more immediate to short-term option for the 39,864 residents who come from 15 barangays considered “less affected” and those 83,536 residents of 48 barangays regarded “indirectly affected.” IDPs who would opt for integration in host communities or settle elsewhere have to be supported so that their choices are informed, rather than made by default.
In planning activities conducted by the Marawi City and Lanao del Sur Provincial Governments, participants recommended the creation of a funding facility from which IDPs could avail to rebuild homes. Owners of private schools and hospitals in Marawi affected by the war are likewise looking for funding windows.
While distinguished as home to the Mindanao State University (MSU)-Marawi Campus, the place also has a high number of private institutions: 45 private schools offered elementary and secondary education, and 21 Commission on Higher Education (Ched)-supervised institutions provided higher education prior to May 2017.
There were also 15 private hospitals. Beyond the availability of financing, Meranaws prefer that resource facilities are halal or Shari’ah-compliant and at the very least not charge interest, which Islam prohibits.
Rather than making a memorial of damaged areas and building an entirely new city, there have been suggestions to not abandon but instead expand Marawi’s commercial complex. After all, it will be up to the peoples of Lanao del Sur to decide on why, what and how they will memorialize.
Many partners will come to the aid of Marawi and the peoples of Lanao del Sur, bringing their chosen frameworks, priorities, approaches and processes. Paying attention to civilian voices, visions and views would help ensure that the situation moving forward does not lead to more alienation, marginalization and conflicts.-- from SunStar Davao