Almost two years after the Marawi siege, unemployment and the delay in rebuilding their homes continue to be a challenge for the displaced Maranaos.
Evacuees in resettlement areas also face difficulties with living conditions, including open drainage.
Philippine Business for Social Progress, together with Republic Cement and other partner companies, has supported the organization of a ‘Tibayanihan Crew’ that will help rebuild stronger homes for a stronger Marawi.
Almost two years after the liberation of Marawi City from ISIS-inspired terrorists in October 2017, evacuees from ground zero or the most affected area of the siege still remain displaced in transitional shelters and in other nearby towns. The problem of unemployment and the delay in rebuilding their homes continue to be a challenge.
Some evacuees face difficulties due to the open drainage in Area 1 Transitional Shelter in Sagonsongan, Marawi City.
“Our drainage here remain uncovered since the time it was constructed. We already documented 40 children who accidentally fell in the drain. Some were hospitalized while others were treated at home for minor injuries,” said Saripada L. Pacasum, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer of Lanao del Sur.
Other stakeholders like government agencies and non-government organizations also face difficulties on how to solve the problem.
“There are a lot of needs. Sometimes we get overwhelmed. But we are blessed because we have partners like Republic Cement. We are thinking of ways on how we can help the community and at the same time provide alternative source of livelihood,” said Reynaldo Antonio D. Laguda, Executive Director of Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).
TRAINING THE CREW
To address these urgent needs, Republic Cement and PBSP partnered for the project called “Marawi Tibayanihan: Rebuilding Homes for a Stronger Marawi.”
“We are funding the project to train construction workers especially masons to make their work more safe and sound. We call them the Tibayanihan crew. Aside from providing income, we are also helping ensure the steady supply of cement. We are manufacturing a cement called Mindanao. This will be exclusively distributed for the rehabilitation of Marawi City,” said Renato C. Sunico, President of Republic Cement & Building Materials Inc.
The Tibayanihan crew who were trained on carpentry, painting, plumbing, electrical wiring, welding and masonry, will be engaged in the rehabilitation of homes in Barangays Bubonga and Raya Saduc and the covering of drainage in Area 1 Transitional Community.
“The project trained us on how to build stronger homes that are structurally sound and on how to be safe at work. They provided us personal protective equipment like hard hats, safety vests, gloves, boots and shirts. I am happy because I can now repair my house and my neighbors’ homes. Aside from helping, the project will provide an opportunity for us to earn for the services that we will render. We are also excited for TESDA certification because it will prepare us for bigger construction projects” said Dimard Fahad, trained Tibayanihan crew from Barangay Raya Saduc, Marawi City.
“This is a good start for the Tibayanihan crew. The Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) will take note of this. Our Building and Reconstruction Team could possibly hire them in case we need more workers,” said Professor Mary Joy Yuson, Executive Assistant representing TFBM Assistant Secretary Felix Castro, Jr.
The Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur also showed interest to help and include them in their pool of skilled workers.
“Tibayanihan came from two words. Tibay means strong. While bayanihan means helping each other. In order to recover, we need to be durable in terms of our trust to others and our faith to Allah. We cannot do this alone. We need everyone’s help,” said Laguda.
“Helping our fellow Maranaos rebuild their lives redounds to building a stronger Republic,” adds Sunico.
Republic Cement and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) launched “Tibayanihan: Rebuilding Homes for a Stronger Marawi” in Barangays Raya Saduc and Bubonga, and Area 1 Transitional Community. In photo are: Renato C. Sunico, President of Republic Cement and Building Materials, Incorporated (4th bottom row); Reynaldo Antonio D. Laguda, Executive Director of PBSP (5th bottom row); representatives from Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) and Lanao del Sur Provincial Capitol; and the Tibayanihan crew.