By Wilnard Bacelonia

Marawi City, Jan 31 (PIA-ICCC) – Member-agencies of the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Subcommittee on Business and Livelihood together with humanitarian organizations have once again gathered here for the 5th Kawiyagan to continue helping the internally displace persons (IDPs) get back on their feet.

Machinery tools, cash assistance and other sets of equipment were distributed to the IDPs during the event.

TFBM Field Office Manager and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Assistant Sec. Felix Castro Jr. reiterated that they have been doing the livelihood convergence every month since last year to complement the assistance extended by other member-agencies.

TFBM Field Office Manager Asec. Felix Castro delivering his opening remarks for the 5th Kawiyagan in front of the Marawi City Hall. – Photo By Wilnard Bacelonia

“For example, if DTI gave an IDP a sewing machine, DSWD can give its cash assistance under its Sustainable Livelihood Program to support that IDP’s livelihood. We have been doing this convergence to ensure that there will be no overlapping in providing livelihood assistance for our IDPs,” Castro clarified.

Being one of TFBM’s partner in Food Security Convergence, the World Food Programme (WFP) also provided livelihood and cash assistance to Marawi IDPs.

WFP National Program Officer Baicon Macaraya corroborated with Asec. Castro’s statement, citing their current efforts on formulating a complaint and feedback mechanism, including monitoring and evaluation.

WFP National Program Officer Baicon Macaraya citing their livelihood interventions for Marawi IDPs. – Photo by Wilnard Bacelonia

“We are always looking for ways of complementation of different line agencies to know what a particular agency has given an IDP and how to support it through other member-agencies’ program. Right now, we’re on the level of analysis on how the livelihood assistance given by the government and non-government agencies affected the lives of the IDPs and how they can move up their products to the market,” Macaraya explained.

One year ago, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among partner-agencies was signed forming the Food Security Convergence. This includes the creation of Convergence Project Monitoring Team (CPMT) composed of government line agencies and international non-government organizations. The convergence initiative’s primary target is to ensure food security of Marawi City.

New MOU signed

Today, another MOU was signed between TFBM, Marawi City Government, DTI and WFP, which intends to group the IDPs into five according to their source of livelihood and skills.

WFP Philippines Country Director Stephen Gluning, on the other hand, explained that the signed MOU intends to bring different partner-agencies together in coordination with TFBM to bring the livelihood convergence to the next level.

From left to right: DTI-Lanao del Sur Provincial Director Mohammad Mamainte, WFP Philippines Country Director Stephen Gluning, Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra, and TFBM Field Office Manager Asec. Felix Castro, Jr. after the MOA signing.

“Our part is to implement a conditional cash transfer for the IDPs complementing on what they have received from other agencies. It’s just a great partnership, fantastic way of supporting the displaced population and helping them rebuild their lives,” Gluning said.

Gluning added that WFP is determined to continue working with TFBM for the Marawi IDPs.this year. (WLBacelonia/PIA-ICCC)