Marawi conflict rooted in poverty; people should be empowered — Robredo

Published October 18, 2021, 3:47 PM

by Betheena Unite

Vice President and presidential aspirant Leni Robredo believes that going back to the root cause of all the problems in Marawi City is crucial to the city’s rebuilding process after the deadly siege in 2017.

Vice President Leni Robredo (Mark Balmores/MANILA BULLETIN)

Empowering the people of the war-torn city and addressing poverty are what the opposition leader wants to achieve once she is elected in the country’s highest executive post.

Robredo identified the lack of empowerment among the people of Marawi and poverty as the root cause of the lingering aftermath of the seige in the city.

Alam natin kung ano iyong ugat ng lahat na problema rito. At iyong ugat ng lahat na problema rito iyong kakulangan talaga ng empowerment, iyong poverty. So dapat iyong programa, lahat iyon ma-address. Hindi siya puwedeng i-address na parang mas reactive lang tayo. Ang dapat na pag-address sa problema rito babalikan kung ano iyong root cause ng mga problema at iyon iyong ayusin (We all know the root of all the problems here. And that is the lack of empowerment and poverty. These must be addressed in the program. These cannot be addressed reactively. The proper way to resolve this is to go back to the root cause of the problem and address it),” Robredo said on Monday, Oct. 18.

The vice president further said that one way to address this is to provide livelihood opportunities to the locals while the rebuilding is under way as the lack of job opportunities in the city has prompted residents to transfer to other cities like in Manila, Cebu, and Laguna to hunt for jobs.

“Para sa akin, hindi ito maganda pero dahil wala silang choice, kailangan nilang gawin. So ang pinakatulong namin, mabigyan sana sila ng livelihood opportunity dito para habang naghahanapbuhay sila, kasama nila iyong kanilang mga anak (For me, this doesn’t look good but because they have no choice, they really need to do it. So, we have been giving them livelihood opportunities to help them while they’re being with their family),” Robredo said.

“Ang pinaka-kailangan ngayon as you are rebuilding, sisiguraduhin na iyong mga pamilya ay mayroong security na mayroon silang pinagkakakitaan (What they most need now amid the rebuilding is to ensure that the family has security and they have a means to earn),” she added.

The opposition leader emphasized that rehabilitating Marawi cannot be done is a short period of time, considering the gravity of the destruction.

She said the rehabilitation “must be a whole-of-government approach” including the participation of the people who have been suffering.

“Ang pinaka-dream natin dito and ito iyong pinagtatrabahuan natin since ako umupo, iyong masiguro na iyong mga pinaka-basic sectors dito ma-empower at mabigyan ng boses. Kasi iyon lang iyong tanging paraan para iyong mga saloobin nila magkaroon ng platform na kabahagi sila sa pamamahala (The ultimate dream here, which we have been working on since I assumed post, is to ensure that the basic sectors are empowered and are given voices. Because that’s the only way to send across their thoughts and be part of the governance),” Robredo said.