Marawi residents to get livelihood aid starting April

Robie de Guzman   •   March 30, 2019   •   1403

FILE PHOTO: Community leaders survey damaged houses and buildings inside war-torn Marawi, Philippines January 13, 2018. REUTERS/Tom Allard

Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) announced on Friday that the livelihood assistance for qualified residents of Marawi City will be distributed in the first week of April.

TFBM Chairperson Eduardo del Rosario said at a press briefing that a total of 32,000 qualified residents will receive aid amounting to P20,000 each family beginning April 6.

“On April 6 and 7, we are going to start giving the livelihood and transitional package of assistance to all residents of Marawi,” he said.

On top of this, residents from ground zero or the area mostly affected during the 2017 siege would also receive an additional P53,000 worth of financial assistance, del Rosario added.

“As of now, based on our profiling there are 32,000 qualified residents. All these 32,000 residents will be given P20,000 livelihood assistance and those residing in the most affected area will be given additional P53,000 additional by DSWD,” he said.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will lead the distribution of livelihood assistance to Marawi residents.

Although efforts to reconstruct Marawi are still ongoing, del Rosario said that residents are still advised against returning to their destroyed homes.

Del Rosario explained that authorities are still clearing the area from debris and unexploded ordnance that were left in the area after the intense fighting between the government forces and the Maute terrorists.

The military previously said that most of the unexploded bombs penetrated deep into the ground and could not safely be excavated with heavy equipment. Removing unexploded ordnance has also been difficult because of lack of radar equipment to detect where exactly the bombs are.

The TFBM estimates to complete the clearing operations by September. – Robie de Guzman

VP Robredo commemorates 3rd Marawi Siege anniversary

Maris Federez   •   May 23, 2020

FILE PHOTO: Community leaders survey damaged houses and buildings inside war-torn Marawi, Philippines January 13, 2018. REUTERS/Tom Allard

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday issued a statement commemorating the harrowing events of the Marawi Siege.

“Today, we mark the third anniversary of the Marawi Siege. To this day, the city lies in ruins, and its people’s lives are frozen in time. Many of its residents remain in temporary shelter communities,” Robredo said.

The vice president recalled how the city of Marawi has been suffering “even as we all face the challenges brought about by COVID-19.”

She recounts how events bring people to connect as one.

“The ongoing crisis should have by now made us realize: The suffering of one redounds to the suffering of all. Magkakarugtong ang diwa at pamumuhay ng bawat Pilipino. Ang hamon sa isa ay hamon sa lahat; ang pagpapabaya sa isa ay pagpapabaya sa lahat; ang ginhawa at pag-angat ng mga nasa laylayan ay pag-angat ng lahat. Healing requires the entire nation to bring its resources to bear,” Robredo articulated.

“Let us also remember that temporary shelter communities pose an even more profound challenge given the virality of COVID-19. Any outbreak in these tightly-packed communities will increase the risk for all of us, and affect a public health system that is already under tremendous strain,” she added.

The vice president also touched on the forthcoming celebration of the Muslim holiday, Eid’l Fitr.

“A few days from now, we will celebrate Eid’l Fitr, a Muslim holiday whose message of compassion and inclusiveness should resonate with every Filipino regardless of creed. Three years of inaction and neglect in Marawi is a thousand days too long,” she said.

She also appealed on concerned authorities to fast track their actions to extend help to the people of Marawi.

“We call on all concerned agencies to accelerate their actions while exercising full transparency. Marawi is not merely a tragedy to be remembered; it is an ongoing problem that needs to be solved,” the vice president concluded. — /mbmf

Another year of martial law in Mindanao? Drilon says ‘No’

Robie de Guzman   •   July 24, 2019

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday said it is time for the government to lift the martial law being enforced in the Mindanao region.

“We cannot tolerate an ‘unli’ martial law. The continued placing of Mindanao under martial law would set a dangerous precedent, not to mention its economic and social implications,” Drilon said in a statement.

The whole of Mindanao region has been under military rule since the local Maute terrorist group laid siege on Marawi City in 2017.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. on Tuesday said he would recommend the extension of martial law in Mindanao for another year.

But for Drilon, it has been “too long” since martial law was declared in the region.

“Is martial law now the new norm in Mindanao?” he asked.

Drilon explained that under Section 18 of Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, the President is allowed to place any part of the country under martial law for a period not exceeding 60 days.

He said the framers of the Constitution understood the danger of a prolonged martial law, hence the 60-day limit and a regular review by Congress are clearly provided in the Constitution.

The same section provides that “upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it.”

But Drilon said there is nothing that shows actual rebellion and armed uprising in the region to justify the extension.

He noted that even Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said she was considering asking that her city be exempted from the declaration of martial law.

The lawmaker called on the government’s security cluster to study the situation and “consider the dangerous mindset that the continued declaration of martial law in Mindanao may give rise to.”

“There is no perpetual martial law. There must be an end to this. As I said before, martial law is like an antibiotic, and antibiotic, when used excessively, becomes ineffective,” he said.

The Department of National Defense earlier said that evaluations and consultations are ongoing on whether to extend or lift the martial law in Mindanao.

Task Force Bangon Marawi officials face raps due to delayed rehabilitation projects

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 29, 2019

Several officials of the Task Force Bangon Marawi are facing raps before the office of the Ombudsman due to delayed rehabilitation projects in Marawi.

The complaint was filed by Datu Meno Manabilang who represents
Sowara O Miyamagoyag or the Voice of Marawi Internally Displaced Persons Association (IDPs).

The group claims that there have been no improvements in the city for the past two years due to the alleged corruption of the officials handling the rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, Task Force Bangon Marawi Chairman Eduardo del Rosario said they are prioritizing the intervention activities of residents for the trauma they have experienced.

Del Rosario assured they are still on-track with the rehabilitation process until the given deadline in 2021.(with reports from Mon Jocson)


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