CSOs propose “survival route” to improve humanitarian support & market access

Local civil society organizations proposes a “survival route” to improve humanitarian intervention and community’s access to market specially the remote host communities of internally displaced persons from Marawi.

In a meeting with community-based partners on June 5 and 6,  local leaders complained problems of access of market goods following the lock-down enforced by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at the height of Marawi crisis. Said lock-down deprived the normal delivery of market goods in both direct and indirectly affected municipalities.

2“The armed conflict in Marawi between extremist Maute group and the Armed Forces of the Philippines led to the lock up of Marawi and which block the normal route from the 36 municipalities of Lanao del Sur to Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City– major sources of food, groceries and other basic commodities. The lock up of Marawi City forced the people from Lanao del Sur municipalities to use the Malabang-Kapatagan, Lanao Norte route which is about four times the distance of the route via Marawi City. This resulted to the skyrocketing of the prices of basic commodities in many towns that become unaffordable to most of the residents,” they said.

The proposed routes are located in the eastern and western sides of Lake Lanao.

The first route covers Ditsaan-Ramain to Saguiaran via Isa-pulo-go Duwa ka Agama, LASURECO, Papandayan, Guimba then across the Rorog-agos Bridge then along the Rorog-agos Road down to Bito up to the crossing with the national road at Eme. This route skirts outside the war zone passing through concrete barangay road which is about 10 kilometers from Iligan city.

The second route covers Marantao to Matungao Route starting at Barangay Ilian in Marantao, to Matampay then across the municipality of Piagapo down to Pantao Ragat, to Matungao and finally to Linamon, Lanao del Norte. This route will pass through a mix of concrete municipal and graveled barangay roads.

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Marawi city sultan Abdul Hamidullah Atar discussed the possible safe way to reach displaced communities hosted by their relatives and friends in remote towns of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur.

Eight-five percent of the 200,000 residents in Marawi evacuated in neighboring cities and municipalities within Lanao Norte and Lanao Sur.

Partners believed that having access from hinterlands to the market (and vice versa) will not only thwart problem on food crisis or hunger but also lessen the prices of prime commodities, especially rice, in local municipal markets.

The proposed route will also facilitate road access for local partners working on humanitarian intervention and support communities whose residents might need medical assistance in hospitals located in main centers.

“The outlying towns arensheltering thousands of displaced persons from Marawi City. Local government units and residents complained that prices of commodities skyrocketed from 100 to 200 % since the war erupted. A 50-kilogram sack of rice has pricing P2,500 before the crisis has now gone up to P5,000 in most of the lake towns,” they added.

Currently, EcoWEB partners with RIDO Inc., Lanao Movement Youth Volunteers (LMYV), Iligan City Council of Women (ICCW), and Mothers for Peace have already reached more than 1,000 displaced families in Iligan, Lanao Norte and Lanao del Sur, most of whom are home-based.