Marawi City Rebuilding Gets Support from US-Philippines Society
Makati City and Marawi City, Philippines – Focus on the aftermath of the Marawi siege included a presentation for directors in Manila on February 19 and a follow-on visit to Marawi City by Society members on February 21.
The Manila session featured Marawi Task Force Undersecretary Falconi Millar, Lanao del Sur government representative Jennie Alonto Tamano, and Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation president Rene Meily. The presentations covered damage assessments, a preview of the rollout in March of the government’s recovery plan, and a review of humanitarian needs. USAID Director Lawrence Hardy and the Asia Foundation’s country representative Sam Chittick added perspectives. Officials from the UN also joined the program.
Amb Negroponte presented a $10,000 (PhP500,000) check for humanitarian relief to PDRF with funds raised in the U.S. from the Philippine Humanitarian Coalition, the Philippine Nurses Association of America, and contributions from Society members and other individuals. This donation, following a $12,000 contribution for a medical mission last August, will provide education kits for displaced children and support livelihood projects.
The visit to Marawi included briefings from the AFP, Bangon Marawi Task Force (BMTF), municipal and provincial officials, and the PDRF. Society members, led by USPS President John F. Maisto, toured “ground zero” on foot and visited several evacuation sites on the edge of the city. Central Marawi sits totally damaged as the difficult work of clearing IEDs and unexploded ordnance proceeds.
Interaction by Society members with evacuees aimed to lift spirits and offer assurances that people on the outside care about their needs. The trip also helped to identify how the Society might focus ongoing fund-raising activities.