CSOs gear up with Marawi rehab, Construction

ILIGAN CITY/Mindanao Hour, August 15 (PIA)– Some 200 members of civil society organizations (CSOs) convened in a two-day conference at Celadon Pension House at Barangay Pala-o here to plan out for Marawi rehabilitation and reconstruction.

To come up with an efficient and organized rehabilitation plan, the participants coming from the National Anti-Poverty Commission – Victims of Disaster and Calamities, Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, Inc.,(EcoWEB), CLEARnet, Reconciliatory Initiatives for Development Opportunities (RIDO) Inc., Saving Lives Movement, United Youth of the Philippines-Women, Kalimudan, Lanao Youth Council, RAWATEN and Sultanate of Marawi, and other CSO members were grouped into five sectors, namely: reconstruction, housing, peace and order, business and livelihood and social services.

Nanette Antequisa, executive director of EcoWEB, said that this conference was made following the CSO meeting last July 24 through which the members agreed to conduct a shared visioning workshop and strategy planning.

“We aim to have a workshop and planning para mas mabuo yung boses (one voice), in engaging and in partnering  with Task Force Bangon Marawi, especially in assuring the voices of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) on the ground,” Antequisa said.

She also hoped that CSOs would influence the rebuilding framework of the government.

The CSOs also drafted a declaration, which asserts their active participation and representation for the clusters and mechanisms of Task Force Bangon Marawi. Proposed frameworks were also presented based on issues and concerns raised by the IDPs.

Antequisa also explained the importance of the representation and participation of the CSOs in the government’s rebuilding efforts, though “it is a sensitive situation.”

“If we are not able to manage this well, and the issues and concerns of the people are not considered very well by the government, this will create more terrorists, more extremists,” said Antequisa.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary Cesar B. Yano of the Department of National Defense (DND), who serves as executive director of Task Force Bangon Marawi, met with the participants and acceded to their declaration.

Yano said that everyone has a part in the rehabilitation efforts, as he even thanked the CSOs for their initiative to help rebuild Marawi. (PIA-10 LDN/Iligan City).