In a statement sent to media on Thursday by Alert Philippines, the Marawi Reconstruction Conflict Watch (MRCW) said the government needs to give the public a clear picture of the rehabilitation of Marawi. Alert Philippines serves as secretariat of MRCW.
AFP/Ted Aljibe, File
Marawi rehab worse than expected ­­— watchdog
Jose Rodel Clapano, Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - November 10, 2019 - 12:00am

MARAWI, Philippines —The rebuilding and rehabilitation of Marawi is a total mess and worse than expected, according to a watchdog monitoring the reconstruction of the war-torn city.

In a statement sent to media on Thursday by Alert Philippines, the Marawi Reconstruction Conflict Watch (MRCW) said the government needs to give the public a clear picture of the rehabilitation of Marawi. Alert Philippines serves as secretariat of MRCW.

“This was laid bare to us by the simple inability of Task Force Bangon Marawi and other concerned government agencies to account for its actions even toward legitimate authorities and legislative oversight committees,” the MRCW, an independent multi-stakeholder expert and dialogue group, said.

The MRCW helps monitor and assess the economic, social, conflict and environmental effects of the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi City on residents.

The MRCW was among civil society organizations invited during the first public hearing of the House subcommittee on Marawi rehabilitation last week.

Lawmakers sought updates from the inter-agency coordinating body on the fund disbursements and implementation of programs and activities for the Marawi rehabilitation.

The MRCW said that it was revealed during the hearing that more than P4 billion of the P10-billion fund earmarked in 2018 for the city’s rehabilitation would become useless this year if the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) won’t obligate it.

The agencies also failed to provide a clear accounting of the P5.52-billion fund that had been released.

Rolanisah Dipatuan, an MRCW member, said they saw the disarray of the government during the hearing.

Dipatuan said private institutions such as schools and hospitals must be compensated because they served majority of Marawi’s population. 

Saripada Pacasum Jr., who rescued trapped civilians  in the main battle area, said the  MRCW was formed in 2018 to help solve  problems that may arise in the rehabilitation process.

The MRCW said it would join an initiative of a lawyers’ group that aims to secure a legal and fair settlement of claims.

The group supports the subcommittee’s call to subpoena Task Force Bangon Marawi chair Eduardo del Rosario and heads of member- agencies included in the task force to appear before the hearing and present their progress. 

It challenged Congress to strictly exercise their oversight function to protect the rights of more than 200,000 Marawi   residents.

Getting a Marawi compensation bill passed is another uphill battle that the Maranaos have to suffer, the MRCW said.

“Several bills have been filed at the lower house to compensate the victims of the war. Among these are House Bills 3418 filed by Rep. Ansaruddin Adiong, HB 3543 by Reps. Mujiv Hataman and Amihilda Sangcopan and HB 3922 by Rep. Yasser Alonto-Balindong. But there is no counterpart measure filed in the Senate yet and no strong champion for it,” the MRCW said.

The Marawi Compensation Law is also not part of the presidential legislative agenda, the watchdog learned.

“We are now being told that Marawi residents were being blamed for the IS incursion in 2017, or that we do not deserve financial aid because we are rich anyway. It appears clearly to us that we are being treated as second class citizens,” it said.

MARAWI RECONSTRUCTION CONFLICT WATCH
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