More transparent Marawi rehab program sought

THE Anak Mindanao (AMIN) party-list group on Saturday demanded that the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) be more transparent in the implementation of the Marawi rehabilitation and disclose to the public, particularly to the affected residents of Marawi, the current status of all efforts to reconstruct the war-torn city.

On several congressional meetings since the 17th Congress, AMIN Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan asked TFBM to explain to the people of Marawi, in full and in detail, how the inter-agency body used the funds allotted to the Marawi rehabilitation in 2018, and how it intends to move forward three years after the siege.

"Call it a 'State of Marawi Address' or whatever you will, but the people need to know the status of the Marawi rehabilitation efforts, especially those who are still languishing in temporary shelters and cannot go home to their beloved city. It has been three years since the siege, and yet the people are still unable to go home, rebuild their lives and heal from all the wounds of this tragedy," Sangcopan stated.

According to the lawmaker, three years after the war, some of the IDPs from the most affected area of the Marawi Seige are still living in tents, or temporary shelters bereft of decent living condition.

Others, on the other hand, have sought refuge with relatives in different parts of Mindanao, while some left the city altogether to work in other places or overseas, she said.

She also expressed her deep concern on how the living condition of the Maranaos was further aggravated by the CoVid-19 pandemic.

However, Sangcopan said many of the residents are hoping that they will eventually see deliverance of the government’s promise of bringing back Marawi on its feet.

“It is heartbreaking to see how our fellow Maranaos cope with life in tents and shelters. It is a far cry from their once thriving way of life, especially with the onset of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease-19), things have been more difficult for them,” Sangcopan, one of the principal authors of the Marawi Compensation Bill now pending in Congress, stressed.

Sangcopan also said that this would be the fourth time that the Maranaos are observing Ramadhan without the fanfare that they’ve grown accustomed to prior to the devastation.

“Ramadhan used to be a very festive, family-oriented celebration for many Maranaos. On this day, the 23rd of May, it is but a painful reminder of what life used to be for most of them,” said