Parliament Speaker Pangalian M. Balindong (center) welcomed World Bank’s Senior Social Development Specialist Ditte Marie Fallesen (second from left) and her team during their courtesy visit to the Office of the Parliament Speaker. (GALao with photo by ZSDiolanan)
COTABATO CITY — The World Bank (WB) assured its commitment to support the Marawi rehabilitation process during courtesy visit to the office of the Parliament Speaker Wednesday, January 29.
Speaker Pangalian M. Balindong received Ditte Marie Fallesen, Senior Social Development Specialist, Mr. Marcelo Jorge Fabre, Senior Conflict and Violence Specialist, Mr. Victor Dato, Senior Infrastructure Specialist, and Michael Frank Alar, WB Consultant.
The World Bank has been providing technical assistance to the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) since 2018. The purpose of the visit is to consult with the Parliament’s “Special Committee on Marawi”, chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Ali B. Solaiman.
As part of the BTA Parliament’s efforts to understand the current status and as well solicit recommendations for the Marawi rehabilitation, Speaker Balindong said the Special Committee on Marawi held a two-day public hearing and consultation from January 15-16, 2020 participated by concerned government agencies.
Participating national government agencies during the activity include the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
“These government agencies provided reports on the status of internally displaced persons and the assistance given to them,” Balindong said.
The BTA passed previously Resolution 112 constituting a special committee to “look into the status of the Marawi recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation efforts.”
The resolution is a “consolidation of resolutions relevant to the Marawi Siege.” The creation of the Special Committee comes 23 months after President Rodrigo Duterte declared Marawi “liberated from the terrorist influence” on October 17, 2017.
Resolution 112 states that the Special Committee on Marawi Recovery, Reconstruction, and Rehabilitation or the Special Committee on Marawi, will be the BTA’s mechanism for “gathering data on and monitoring the status of the recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation efforts planned and/or implemented for Marawi City and offering recommendations for the Bangsamoro Government’s appropriate action in relation thereto.”
The BTA’s Special Committee, according to the resolution, aims to complement the efforts of the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), the multi-agency body tasked to oversee the recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi and other affected areas.
During the hearing, one of the issues tackled was the need for the remaining IDPs to return to their homes after the devastating 2017 siege.
Balindong said there are homeowners in Marawi who have the capability to reconstruct their homes.
“The leaders, datus, sultans, most of them settle in Marawi. These are the people who can rehabilitate their homes. So why not allow them to go back?” Balindong stressed.
Balindong also pointed out why the Meranaws are not well represented in the TFBM.
“Most of them are from Manila so how can they react and participate? This is one of the concerns,” he claimed.
Fallesen expressed her frustration to see that not much has happened in the last two years.
“We’re very keen to hear from the special committee since they are currently doing a review on the support for Marawi and the way the rehabilitation is moving forward. So we’re keen to understand what their plan is and how we can work with them,” Fallesen said.
Fallesen added they need to know what are the different objects and programs that are being planned by the different ministries and the support from the BTA’s side and see if there’s some way they can potentially work with the BTA.
“It happened in 2017, and now it’s 2020. I think 30 or 40 percent of the homeowners are now ready to go back but they are not allowing us,” Balindong said.
Meanwhile, it was learned that the committee also requested the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) to provide the overall status of projects especially roads, water, electricity, and telecommunication in the most affected area (MAA). To date, there are 12,079 IDPs in evacuation centers, community-based centers, and home-based.(GALao, OPS, BTA Parliament)
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