The National Anti-Poverty Commission -Victims of Disasters and Calamities (NAPC-VDC) Sectoral Council convene for two days and deliberate various issues including the Marawi crisis situation.
The sectoral council of NAPC fully supports the initiative of local NGOs in performing their humanitarian response to the massive displacement in Marawi city following the violent armed conflict between government troops and “hybrid terror” group.
The overwhelming impact of the crisis and massive displacement have shown the limitation and weaknesses of the existing capacity and response mechanisms initially led by Regional Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Region X.
The province of Lanao del Sur, of which Marawi city is the capital, is the poorest province in the country with 71.9 percent of its 1.05 million population living below the poverty threshold.
Many of the internally displaced persons (IDP) of Marawi City are among the poorest of the poor in the country. Thus, they are among the concern of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) particularly the sector of the Victims of Disasters and Calamities or VDC.
The humanitarian response experience of the VDC members and CSO partners in the on-going Marawi Crisis were also highlighted during the 2-day second quarter NAPC-VDC Sectoral Council Meeting and learning event on the “Good and Not So Good Practices on Humanitarian Disaster Response and DRR.”
Participants saw the imperative of ensuring that no one will be left behind and that rights and dignity of all IDPs are protected in times of emergency, especially in conflict and war situations. This a serious concern raised in the meeting.
The NAPC-VDC council members, humanitarian-focused civil society organization, some local government officials recognized the participation of IDPs and local affected communities in designing response program to ensure protection of their rights and dignity.
The Survivor and Community-led Response to Crisis (S/CLR) approach in disaster management promoted by EcoWEB– the home NGO of the current NAPC-VDC Sectoral Representative Regina Antequisa, was recognized as an approach that could capacitate the IDPs and other affected constituents to become an effective partner of the government and CSOs in responding to the impact of crisis.
The S/CLR approach is also recognized as a process that could promote “conflict and culturally-sensitive response to crisis.”
Participation of internally displaced peoples and the stakeholders on humanitarian intervention are keys in planning the recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi.
NAPC-VDC sectoral representative Regina S. Antequisa stated that “many of the local CSOs and traditional leaders of Marawi who are also among the IDPs in Iligan City and in Lanao provinces expressed concern about their lack of participation in the preparation for the rehabilitation of Marawi City which seems to be underway as pronounced by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte.”
NAPC-VDC conference took place at Mandaluyong city.