By Julmunir I. Jannaral
The Bangsamoro Government will not abandon the IDPs (internally displaced persons) in Marawi City after it has been destroyed by war.
This was the commitment of Chief Minister Ahod “Al Hajj Murad” Ebrahim in his message on the 4th year commemoration of Marawi Siege on Sunday, May 23.
Four years have passed and much of Marawi City is still in ruins, said Ebrahim. “Tens of thousands are still displaced, and layers of challenges are piling on, exacerbated by the ongoing health crisis,” he said.
Although the rehabilitation of Marawi is within the jurisdiction of the national government thru its Task Force Bangon Marawi, Ebrahim said the Bangsamoro Government did not and will not turn its back on the people of Marawi.
“Support to Marawi Rehabilitation remains a priority agenda of your Bangsamoro Government. The BARMM-Marawi Rehabilitation Program, or BARMM-MRP, was established late last year for this very reason,” the chief minister said.
Ebrahim said that a total of 10 projects in partnership with several ministries have been approved under the BARMM-MRP.
This includes the enhancement of the IDPs’ profile database, socio-economic livelihood assistance program under the Sagip Kabuhayan Program; installation of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities (WaSH) across all temporary and permanent shelters within and outside BARMM; and the purchase and dispatch of mobile health clinics, lake ambulance, and cadaver transport to serve the IDP’s medical needs.
Also included in the approved projects are the cash aid distribution to all IDP households whether or not included in the Kathanor list, technical assistance for indigent families seeking to rebuild in their own lands within the Most Affected Areas (MAA), and construction of permanent shelters for the IDPs.
“To date, after only close to 7 months since its establishment, the BARMM-MRP through its Program Steering Committee ably led by the Deputy Chief Minister Aleem Ali Solaiman, has allocated at least half of its total budget of 1 Billion pesos for the combined fiscal years of 2020 and 2021,” Ebrahim said.
“Moving forward, our Meranaw brothers and sisters can expect more prompt and responsive actions from the Bangsamoro Government as we fulfill our commitment to bring attention to the struggles and challenges of the people of Marawi who have been forced to live through these unjust hardships for years,” he further said.
Meanwhile, Bangsamoro Parliament Deputy Speaker for Lanao Ziaur-Rahman Adiong said “the Bangsamoro regional government is committed to continue responding to the most urgent needs and concerns of the people, while also looking for ways to better coordinate the implementation of programs and policies of the national government in the city.”
“I thank the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) and the local government units of Marawi and Lanao Del Sur for the major progress we saw inside the MAA especially the repairs and rebuilding of the damaged Masjids (mosque) though much is to be done and to set deadlines for the opening of MAA is to create public expectation,” Adiong said.
“Therefore, we will hold TFBM true to its promise that by October of this year, displaced families can finally return to the MAA in order to restart anew. We are confident that TFBM can and will deliver on this assurance,” he added. JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL