THE Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) recently inked a partnership with Republic Cement with the aim of providing an alternate livelihood source and house rehabilitation to the families affected by the Battle of Marawi in 2017.
The project is called “Marawi Tibayanihan: Rebuilding Homes for a Stronger Marawi.”
In May 2017, the Maute Group staged a major attack on the major institutions and villages in Marawi City, leaving the beautiful Islamic city in ruins.
The five-month conflict between the terrorists and government forces displaced more than 350,000 individuals, or 41 percent of the population.
After a year of fighting, thousands of families have made their way back to their ruined homes, but there are still 237,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in tent cities. Those who returned fared little better, having little to no livelihood to come back to.
“From our experience after several missions in Marawi City, we have developed a more responsive framework to guide our member companies and partner donors towards a more holistic and collective response, supportive of the needs of the IDPs and local plans,” said PBSP executive director Reynaldo Laguda.
He said there is an “immense need that had to be filled.”
“We are grateful for the flow of assistance. We are excited about Republic Cement for sharing our vision of rebuilding a stronger Marawi,” Laguda said.
The project’s goal is to form the Marawi Tibayanihan Crew—a group of skilled workers on carpentry, masonry, electrical wiring, welding, plumbing and painting. The workers will be trained by the experienced personnel of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
The project targets three communities: barangays Raya Saduc and Bubonga, and Area 1 Transitional Community.
Households from the two barangays (44 families) and 102 shelters will benefit from the recovery and rehabilitation assistance.
Families who do not have the capacity to pay for labor and materials would be prioritized.
Under the program, the Tibayanihan Crew will provide labor services to the beneficiaries. Families could also avail themselves of a grant for the purchase of construction materials, after an assessment on the conditions of their homes.
“This is an important project for us. The development of Mindanao is in line with Republic Cement’s thrust in nation-building. As much as this project is about constructing stronger homes and buildings, it is also about strengthening the people’s hope that tomorrow would be better,” said Republic Cement Services Inc. president Nabil Francis.
After the project’s conclusion, the Marawi Tibayanihan Crew will be endorsed to the stakeholders, especially to the government authorities: the barangay, Marawi City Government, Lanao del Sur Provincial Government and Task Force Bangon Marawi.
“This is not just an investment in rebuilding Marawi’s infrastructure, but it is also an extended hand to families in desperate need of hope to keep on facing another day. Rebuilding stronger homes is all about strengthening families, and in turn, building a stronger republic,” said Francis.
Project Marawi Tibayanihan is made possible through the initiative of PBSP, Republic Cement, and through the generous donations of Telstra, Alsons Development and Investment Corp., Community Developers and Construction Corp., Country Bankers Life Insurance Corp., LRP Foundation Inc., Unilab Inc., Antonio Y. Aboitiz, Ramon del Rosario Jr., and Vivian Que-Azcona.
“May Marawi Tibayanihan be a testament to the good that the private sector could accomplish when different entities and corporations come together and work toward a common goal.We can accomplish bigger things when we all work together,” Laguda said.