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A Narrative Report on the Human Impact Assessment Conducted in Amai

Manabilang, Lanao del Sur

The siege of Marawi City on May 23, 2017 created a humanitarian crisis of

great proportions. Hundreds of thousands fled to evacuation centers and

private homes in neighboring municipalities in Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte,

and beyond. This in turn presented many challenges to aid providers which

caused further problems to the Internally Displaced Persons, especially very

young children,infants, chronically ill persons, pregnant and lactating mothers,

and the elderly.

Human Impact Assessment was conducted in the municipality of Amai

Manabilang (formerly Bumbaran) Lanao del Sur, where a number of IDPs are

staying in evacuation centers and private shelters. The evacuees interviewed

and surveyed were in Barangays Comara, Francfort, Mansilano, and

Pagalamatan in the said municipality. The assessment covered aspects such

as preparedness, recovery,housing reconstruction, relief operations,

impressions of quality of life in the shelters, employment/livelihood/income,

and immediate needs. IDP aspirations, strategic interventions, policy

recommendations, observations were also covered. What resulted is a

situationer of the IDPs in Amai Manabilang, and the data herein, it is hoped,

might be of great help to the concerned authorities in planning and responding

to future emergencies in a more efficient and humane manner.


Special thanks are due to Amai Manabilang Mayor Jamal E. Manabilang

for assisting in the conduct of the assessment.

Preparedness

The evacuees reported that initially they thought that the siege that

happened in Marawi was hearsay, and so they were not fully prepared to

evacuate when it became clear to them that they needed to. They are mostly

low income families and not all were from Ground Zero, hence not all were

heavily affected.

There were some IDPs with physical disabilities, and some were aged and

feeble. All reported difficulty in moving them to safety since there were no

available means for transportation.

Evacuees also reported evacuating to Ramain evacuation center first

before heading to Amai Manabilang. Some of the evacuees are home-based,

living with relatives.

Recovery/Health
The evacuees reported that in terms of health services, it was an

advantage being in Amai Manabilang due to the ease of accessing medical

services from health units near and within the evacuation center. Day care

centers are available and the evacuees were able to avail of these for their

toddlers. However, many school age children and teenagers were not able to

enroll in school because of the distance of the schools from their location, lack

of funds to buy school supplies and for daily baon, and the language barrier.

Housing Reconstruction

As with other evacuees in other areas, the Amai Manabilang IDPs lost

personal belongings and properties in the siege. They reported a lack of

adequate sanitation and medical facilties in the evacuation centers. Since the

only news about Marawi City comes from television, many are worried about

the lack of news from the ground and are greatly concerned as to what had

befallen their homes and livelihoods in Marawi City.

Majority of the evacuees stated that they are prepared to go back to

Ground Zero zones where their homes once stood, and are willing to transfer

to temporary shelters once these are put up, provided that these are safe and

comfortable.
Relief Operations

Regarding relief operations in Amai Manabilang, the LGU coordinates with

the Camp Manager about the distribution of relief goods and other forms of aid

that the evacuees need. The distribution of relief goods is done weekly.

The DSWD -ARMM is the lead agency in releasing relief goods to the

evacuees. However, it has come to light that the evacuees have some

concerns pertaining to the relief operations. Some of them do not eat canned

goods and so were unable to use the canned food given to them. They also

report that the rice in the relief packs is of low quality. They would rather have

vegetables than corned beef. For the home-based IDPs, relief goods were not

available to them.

Impressions of Life in the Shelters

There have been many reports from the evacuees regarding the quality of

life in the shelters. Some said that other IDPs are in fact, from nearby

municipalities, but have moved to other evacuation centers where there is

plenty of food aid to be obtained.

Life in the shelter is cramped, with no privacy, comfortable sleeping

quarters, and sanitation. The evacuees in the evacuation centers are more

well-provided for than those who are home-based in terms of relief goods
assistance. Only those who personally appear at the relief lines may claim

relief goods.

With these, the LGU is strongly urged to sanitize the list of IDPs to ensure

that those truly in need are the ones receiving help; it is also urged to provide

some form of livelihood training especially for the women, extend financial

assistance, and consider serving nutritious food for lactating/pregnant women.

Employment, Livelihood, and Income

In Amai Manabilang, mostly males, especially the heads of families, have

been offered work in the local plantations so as to help them meet their

families needs and to preserve their dignity. The LGU has recognized the

plight of the evacuees in this in fact and as a result it has taken the initiative of

offering work to the IDPs on a piecemeal or pakyaw basis. This month, the

DSWDs Cash for Work Program will be implemented in the municipality to

help meet the livelihood needs of the evacuees.

Immediate Needs of the IDPs


Apart from their earlier responses, the IDPs report other immediate needs.

These include blankets and mosquito nets, school supplies for children,

clothing, milk and diapers for infants and toddlers, and more financial

assistance or temporary livelihood. They also request for more medicines and

the presence of more DOH/RHU personnel in the evacuation centers.

IDP Aspirations

Based on the evacuees responses to the field workers collecting data for

the assessment, the following aspirations are put forward:

1. The IDPs mental health is of great importance. In this time of crisis they

need to remain confident and mentally sound. In additional to physical health

interventions conducted in the evacuation centers, it will be advantageous if

mental health teams will regularly conduct psychosocial activities and

counselling sessions to the IDPs to achieve this end.

2. There is a need to re-instill a love of honest work among the IDPs, who

have been on food aid for months and who experience a lack of activity.

3. There is a need to educate themselves and one another regarding what

had happened to them and learn from the its lessons.

4. Evacuation center-based and home-based evacuees require the same

considerations regarding relief and other forms of assistance.


Strategic Interventions

The following strategic interventions are put forward and are highly

endorsed.

1. Mental health counselling is highly needed for the IDPs. Psychologists

should also form part of the health assistance teams. IDPs should be urged

to seek counselling help and to participate in psychosocial activities.

2. DepEd contingency plan for displaced school children must be

concptualized and implemented so that IDP children will be more likely to

continue schooling in spite of the disaster and also to help them adjust to their

new surroundings.

3. A disaster kit for school aged children containing basic school needs

such as notebooks, pens, pencils, eraser, pad paper and simple school bag

may be considered by the authorities as something to be institutionalized like

the DSWD boxes. After all, natural disasters strike the country every year

and among those affected are the pupils/students. The kit will greatly help

encourage children and teenagers to resume their schooling and it will relieve

parents who are not able to buy school supplies for their children.
4. Aid for lactating mothers, pregnant women, the elderly, and persons

with disabilities (PWDs). These include medical attention, medicines, and

therapy.

5. Temporary shelters with privacy will be more appreciated as these will

help IDPs feel more secure. These may be in the form of sturdy tents or other

collapsible structures that may be dismantled once there is no longer any need

for them, to be used again when another disaster comes.

6. Strictly require landowners to have clean titles of their properties. This

will help them later on when they have claims regarding damage or loss of

properties.

7. Encourage people to obtain insurance policies for their properties. This

will help them claim money that they can use to help themselves in any way

they wish.

Policy Interventions

The following measures are recommended to be incorporated as policy so

as to alleviate the impact and to facilitate faster and more efficient delivery of

assistance to those affected in a disaster/armed conflict.


1. Medical and barangay profiling of the people. Similar to Obamacare,

people with chronic illnesses and the elderly will be given cards containing

information regarding their illnesses, the medicines prescribed to them,

and other medical interventions given to them so that in the event of a

disaster, these will help the health units in giving them the appropriate

care.

2. Fast and free processing of restoration of birth certificates and other

papers from the NSO, for the IDPs, as they will often need these.

3. Protocols for moving the elderly, the sick, pregnant women and

young children/infants out of danger zones in times of emergency must be

set, so that this group of people can be moved safely.

4. Honorarium for the RHUs to sustain medical services to the IDPs as

they will often run out of supplies.

5. Tracer study for the survivors to track down how they are doing

years after the disaster.

6. Grants and loans as well as other forms of financial assistance

should be made available to the IDPs.

Observations
In addition to the aspects discussed above, the field workers also made

some observations regarding the IDPs in Amai Manabilang, Lanao del Sur.

There were IDPs with multiple DAFACs when only one should be possessed

by a family. This incident may be prevented by a new DAFAC form with an ID

picture of the bearer. The Local Civil Registrar may issue temporary

certifications with the condition that IDPs return these once they obtain NSO

verified ones are issued to them. This is raised in the light of the report that

the plantations in Amai Manabilang required the IDP applicants to submit birth

certificates.