Ex-BTC member urges public participation in Marawi rehabilitation
A year after the liberation of Marawi, former Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) member Samira Gutoc is urging the people to get involved in the city’s rehabilitation.
“I propose public participation in the rebuilding process, with the Executive Order creating Task Force Bangon Marawi be amended to have one vote for civil society organizations,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The government effort may be there, but the growing needs of those displaced and affected by the fighting should be matched because the longer they remain away from their homes, the closer they get to despair,” she added.
Gutoc said hundreds of families continue to live in temporary shelters around the city and more than 70,000 outside the city, away from ground zero.
She also noted that “construction of structures has been at a slow pace.” Moreover, residents who volunteer to help were not permitted to do so.
“My people’s continuing displacement makes it hard for them to find livelihood to fend for their families. The high prices of goods make their daily survival harder,” she said.
Gutoc also called on the administration to assure the people of Marawi “that it did not liberate them from the armed groups only to plunge them into further misery [and into] poverty and hunger, joblessness, and homelessness.”
“It (government) should be reminded of the need to uphold human dignity and not aggravate the suffering of internally displaced people,” she added.
Gutoc likewise mentioned that the public should be informed about the role of the Chinese government and in the rebuilding the city.
“The administration has not kept hidden its inclination toward China, even [going as far as] inviting representatives to a pledging session to seek international support,” she noted.
“Several groups representing the residents in Marawi are wary that handing the city’s rehabilitation [over] to the Chinese financiers could make the folks lose land in the process,” Gutoc added.
She said that there is also some apprehensions that with big business ventures involved in the plan to rebuild the city, residents may have little or no voice in the rehabilitation because the primary goal is a return on investment for the financiers. /ee
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