As part of the 50th Founding Anniversary Celebration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Philippine national government agencies (NGAs) involved in the “Task Force Bangon Marawi” held a forum to discuss the recovery and rehabilitation strategy to uplift the condition of internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected by the ongoing armed conflict against the Maute terrorist group.
DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, and Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary and Task Force Bangon Marawi Executive Director Cesar Yano graced the “Bangon Marawi” Forum held at Conrad Hotel, Pasay City.
Other government officials present were: DSWD Undersecretary Hope Hervilla, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary Rafael Yabut, Office of the Cabinet Secretary (OCS) Undersecretary Gloria Jumamil-Mercado, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Austere Panadero, Task Force Bangon Marawi spokesperson and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima, Marawi City Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra, and Ms. Mary Ann Adiong from the office of the provincial vice governor of Lanao del Sur.
For his keynote address, CabSec. Evasco, as chair of the task force’s Sub-Committee on Housing, highlighted the need to listen to the affected population and provide a complete package of services for those affected such as the reconstruction of roads, shelter and schools, provision of water, electricity, sanitation facilities and medical needs, revival of businesses and livelihood projects, and the maintenance of peace and order in the area.
“All rehabilitation efforts should be preceded by public consultations – we must listen to and heed the calls of the Filipino people, especially those who are directly affected by the conflict in Marawi.”
For her part, Sec. Taguiwalo, as the Vice Chair for disaster response, expressed her gratitude to those who helped in the relief efforts in Marawi City, including ASEAN member states for upholding the One ASEAN, One Response declaration for a faster collective response to humanitarian and disaster concerns in the region.
It can be recalled last month that the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) provided relief items and equipment through the Malaysian government’s air force.
She said, “Panahon na para pasalamatan ang lahat ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno, ang private sector, mga civil society organizations (CS)Os) at ang mga iba’t-ibang volunteers sa maagap na tulong na ipinadala nila (It is time to thank all government agencies, the private sector, civil society organizations, and volunteers for their prompt assistance to Marawi).”
The social welfare chief also explained the importance of the task force which sets the tone for the rehabilitation and recovery phase efforts for Marawi.
“Sa paglabas ng presidente ng administrative order na lumikha ng Task Force Bangon Marawi, hudyat na ito na papasok na tayo sa reconstruction and rehabilitation at natutuwa ang DSWD at ang mga katuwang nitong mga ahensya na mauumpisahan na ito (The release of the president’s administrative order creating the Task Force Marawi signals the start of the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase. The DSWD and its partner agencies are pleased for its commencement),” said Sec. Taguiwalo.
This week, the DSWD Field Office (FO) XII with the city government of Marawi started to assemble temporary tent shelters inside the war-torn city for returning IDPs.
“Higit kailan man, Kailangan nating magtulungan dahil magsisimula na ang panibagong yugto ng ating mga aksyon para tulungan ang mamamayan ng Marawi na makabangon (Now more than ever we have to continue working together so we can help the people of Marawi recover,” she said. (DSWD)