Negros Occ. to Help in Marawi City’s Rehab

The Negros Occidental Provincial Government will raise funds to help in the rehabilitation of Marawi City that was devastated by a five-month war between government forces and ISIS-inspired Maute Muslim extremists.

Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., yesterday said he relayed the plan to President Rodrigo Duterte during the President’s visit Sunday night in Bacolod City for the annual MassKara Festival.

The Governor said he asked permission from Duterte to launch the project which he will call “Negros Cares.”

“Everybody can help. From the lowly pedicab driver to the local government units,” he said, “any amount will do.”

This will be a project to be initiated by the provincial government with the help of the LGUs, he added.

“There is no target amount,” Marañon said, adding that they will still set the mechanics or guidelines “to ensure that everything will be recorded. There will be drop boxes to be distributed.”

“I also plan to ask the help of the religious sector, the non-government organizations, private sectors, the civil society and the sugar industry,” he also said.

The President welcomed and thanked the provincial government for the project, Marañon said.

On the other hand, the Governor said Duterte confirmed to him the return of the troops of the 3rd Infantry Division to Negros.

“I talked to Major Gen. Jon Aying, commanding general of the Army’s 3rd ID, that he will treat the soldiers with a welcome party at the Capitol Lagoon and Park,” he said.

“It is our way of saying thank you for their service,” Marañon said.* (NDB)

 

Gov’t Allocates Initial P5-B for Marawi Rehab

The government is allocating an initial P5-billion fund that will be spent until the end of the year for the rehabilitation of Marawi City, a Civil Defense official said yesterday.

Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima said a big chunk of the fund would be allotted for the relief efforts.

“Ang priority diyan ay ‘yung patuloy nating pagbibigay ng relief sa ating IDPs (internally displaced persons),” Purisima said during the regular Mindanao Hour press briefing in Malacañang.

As of latest count, he said there are more than 72,000 IDP families still housed in evacuation centers as well as those who are home-based.

Purisima added that part of the P 5-billion would also be used to fund the construction of transitional shelters.

The National Housing Authority eyes to build at least 1,100 transitional shelters within the year for the Marawi City IDPs, he said, adding that displaced persons may start occupying the shelters as early as next year.

“‘Yun ang target nila doon sa unang plano. Of course, this is subject to evaluation, this is subject to revisions as needed dahil ngayon minamadali na at tinatapos na ng DPWH ‘yung site development ng lahat ng transitional shelter sites. ‘Yung six areas diyan sa transitional shelter sites,” Purisima said.

The site development continues in Barangay Sagonsongan, Marawi City, under the leadership of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

A private company also volunteered to develop a water distribution system for the transitional shelter site in Barangay Sagonsongan and has identified location for installation of deep wells.

The government also accepts donations from foreign groups and it is being handled by the Finance and Resource Mobilization Support Group. Among the donors include Thailand, India and China, he said.

To address concerns on the lack of livelihood in the temporary sites, Purisima said the government is studying possible livelihood and business opportunities for the IDPs.

“At saka alam naman natin itong transitional shelter site ay transitional, temporary lamang, ngunit bibigyan pa rin natin sila ng sense of community dito sa transitional shelter site,” he said.

“So nagpaplanong maglagay diyan ng marketplace, maaaring maglagay din diyan ng eskwelahan at health center o medical center,” he added.?

Aside from the appropriate livelihood interventions, the IDPs will also be provided appropriate health and educational interventions as well.

Meanwhile, Malacañang welcomed the tie-up between the Diocese of Novaliches, Quezon City and the Philippine National Police to rehabilitate drug dependents.

“The drug rehabilitation partnership agreement signed by the Diocese of Novaliches, Quezon City government, and the Philippine National Police for a community-based drug rehabilitation program in the Batasan area is a commendable move to pro-actively help the national government in the anti-illegal drug campaign,” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

“ It is hoped that this kind of partnership can be replicated by the PNP and other offices involved in the comprehensive anti-illegal drugs campaign with other Dioceses, as well as other churches and church groups in the country,” he added.

Abella noted that this kind of collaboration between the government and the Church is what the people expect, as indicated by a recent survey showing majority saying that the Catholic Church must help with the rehabilitation of drug addicts.

“The complementary work of the government and the Church in the treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependents must further be enhanced, particularly in areas such as restoration of mental, spiritual, and psycho-emotional health,” he added.*