Miyakapira Ragon so Kapakambabakwit? A Review of Post-Marawi Crisis Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, 2017-2020 (Phindiyorobasaan sa Mranaw)

Kowa-kawn sa kopya “Miyakapira Ragon so Kapakambabakwit? A Review of Post-Marawi Crisis Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, 2017-2020 (Phindiyorobasaan sa Mranaw)” IMANTO DEN!

PDF: bit.ly/IlangTaongBakwitMranawPDF

Google Play Books: bit.ly/IlangTaongBakwitMranawGPB

May be an image of text that says "Miyakapira Ragon SO Kapakambabakwit? So Kiyasosona Milay, Kiyaperogorogoda ago Kiyapamandapati ko gii Katharagombalaya ago Kaphagompiyai sa Marawi ko Oriyan Kiyasanaat, 2017-20201 Olowan a Kiyamamesan (Key Findings) mapasad katharagombalaya pharoman Marawi oriyan tonganay inge Pilipinas baden ko bitiyara kamamanosiyai kapakasasarig ginawa. programa Marawi ago manga kiyabinasaan manga kakhapasad darepa oriyan kiyaipos miyakaphipira kiyathidawa inged kiyambonowai kapakambalingan tantara sa Pilipinas, Marawi tindoa gawii maminos 2022 pemans kakhapopos lalayon phekindod manga Misabap kiyalangga kapakambalingan pimbarang tantoa miyalanggay kapakabawi 56 pimbarang gobirno ko khisosophon probinsiya Bangon Marawi (TFBM) opisina gobirno Rodrigo Dutertesii rangkom shatimanena sangan adena ibebegay lawda (autonomous). Miyakapira Ragon Kapakambabakwit? 01"
May be an image of text that says "Urgent concerns for the Marawi Rehabilitation O OPEN DATA Available accessible data Marawi rehabilitat forms useful residents P COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT and analy current spread IDPs ADEQUATE FUNDING Provide adeguate government Marawi Compensation SAFE, LIVABLE SHELTERS Address climate- and pandemic- related COMMUNITY-LED REHABILITATION UTILITY SERVICES Reconstruct essential infrastructure electricity, LIVELIHOOD Provide economically livelihood and microfinancing options EDUCATION Reconstruct schools lended students learning systems ENVIRONMENT Address the environmental impacts Lanao watershed 16 Miyakapira Ragon so Kapakambabakwit?"
May be an image of text that says "mipantag kabokaan assessment) kabotawanan manga mambebetad mapakalawlad inged kiyalanggay madakel manga inged ilmo (datar elu patot madakel manga ago panagontamanko manga kambalaya manga ogop/ panabang manga AMAD MANGA THOTOL DATA). malebod rakes magaan okita ago amad mipantag katharagombalaya mala-i osba pagtaw maginged SERBISYO KHAWSEBAAN Mapakalawlads PAMANDAPAT manga serbisyo paka- korente, telepeno ago nggolalan manga pamandapatan somosonged kiniparak manga analysis),a kapapantagan bakwit (economically para -apas manga Mranaw pamirak pondo Compensation KATHONTO MAPIYA (EDUCATION). manga eskwelaan PAMIKIRAN TAWN, KAPAGINETAW BABALINGAN system) estudyante masangor kathontot miyanga-rarambita manga manga mosim (pandemic) babalingan tatap mapontarya somanga mapiya meliliyotaleb (Lake watershed) (COMMUNITY-LED madakel Ragon Kapakambabakwit?"

Giyangkai a piyaka-kampet a osayan, phindiyorobasaan ago initogalin sa basa a Mranaw i Tirmizy E. Abdullah, Ph.D., na miyapento ago miyapakarayag iyan so manga olowan a kiyamamesan ago so manga mosawer (recommendations) phoon ko asal a miya-amad a thotol a inisorat i Ica Fernandez ago piyaki-bembar a INCITEGov ko October 2021. (Ilayangka sa: https://www.facebook.com/106515049435895/posts/4604566522964036).

Sii ko taman a kakekenalawn ko October 2021, na 17,060 a manga pamilya na kasasagadan iran so karamosayan ko kiyalanggay o kapakambabakwit / kapakapago-oyag sabap ko kiyasanaat a Marawi ko 2017 (2017 Marawi siege). Liyo roo pen, na o da a Marawi Compensation bill na madakel ko manga bakwit / maginged na di iran maphembalay sharoman so manga walay iran, taman imanto na da pen maka-apas ago matanto giyangkoto a kitab. Giyai i manga ped ko diden mipheshomala a manga awida-akal ko gii katharagombalaya sa Marawi (Marawi rehabilitation) a paliyogat so masambot a kabegi ron imoleng ago panagontaman, mlagid den so kapapantagan a manga olowan, opisyal, ago bebegan sa kapaar sa baba (local) ago poro (national) a gobirno ago so pen so makaphiphikir a pamangped sa politika a manga kandidato a popontariyaan iran a kapamakataban iran sa kadato ago posisyon ko May 2022 a kapheshasamili sa manga olowan / eleksyon (May 2022 polls). O antonaa i mapheniniyat ago mapipikir a okit o manga kandidato ko kasangora iran a panagontaman sangkai a manga awida-akal mipantag ko kamamanosiyai, kalilinding, kasisiyapa ko pagtaw a ped ko manga plataporma iran na nganin a taralbi a katitikayan ago maiinengka o pagtaw ago maginged.

Ilang Taong Bakwit: A Review of Post-Marawi Crisis Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, 2017-2020

Back in early 2020 I was asked by several Mranaw civil society leaders to help them put together a technical stock-take of available data on post-Marawi Siege reconstruction efforts. At the time, the report of the BTA Special Committee on Marawi had not been written yet, and there was a very real fear that commitments for rebuilding the city and helping residents return home and get back on their feet would be forgotten after the Duterte administration and if the BARMM extension were not approved. Although it seems that the BARMM transition will continue until 2025, these fears of abandonment are still very real particularly with election season in full swing and no Compensation Bill in sight. Everything is still a moving target (just ask the residents of Jolo about what happened to them since the 1970s).

In other countries the standard practice for public responses to massive crisis events would be to conduct a serious assessment, my favorite example being the Multi-Stakeholder Review done three years after the Aceh reconstruction process, covering both tsunami relief and peace agreement implementation with the GAM/Free Aceh Movement. For that to happen in the Philippines, that means that the national government, along with regional and local actors, the private sector and the international development community will need to be open and frank about hard questions that need answering. All we can hope for is that the current commitment of allowing residents to return by December 2021 will be honored, and a real Compensation bill passed into law ASAP.

In the meantime, everything in this report, published by INCITEGov with support from Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Philippines, is a small yet hopeful initial contribution to the transitional justice and reconciliation agenda. It is by no means definitive, but we try to ask the right questions and point to all the key analysis out there, particularly the BTA SCM report, which is informed by extensive consultations and notably, Mranaw economist Assad Baunto’s thorough analysis; reports from the many CSOs/NGOs and donors working on the ground (including citizen group MRCW and law group IDEALS); by journalists and truth-tellers Criselda Yabes and Carmela Fonbuena; not to mention the thousands of accounts of Mranaw residents and community leaders over the years. The report also benefits immensely from the budget analysis of the NDRRM fund by the Institute for Leadership, Empowerment and Democracy led by Zy-za Nadine Suzara. I’m just sorry that this does not include analysis regarding procurement and implementation quality, or much after year end 2020, which I hope that others can do. All of this is meant to be constructive technical engagement in good faith, which must continue now and well beyond the next few years. And no, this is not about what color you’re wearing or not wearing for the elections—this is about making sure that people get to go home, and that future commitments to all IDPs everywhere will be honored regardless of whoever is in power in Cotabato and Malacanang.

The report is now available for download on the following platforms:

– as PDF bit.ly/IlangTaongBakwitPDF

On Google Play Books: bit.ly/IlangTaongBakwitGPB

P.S. Our service is to the living, but this too must honor the dead, including the peaceworkers who made this possible — birthday celebrant sa langit ma’am Linky, ma’am Dinky Soliman, and sir Gus C.

Urban reform in the Philippines: Bridging our many divides

A redacted version of my usual ranting on the link between place-making and peace-building was published in today’s Philippine Star as part of its 33rd anniversary special. Some of this comes from talks given at the UrbanisMO session of the 2018 Artkitektura festival, and a few sessions with the Philippine Chevening alumni association.


I’m posting the original version here. 🙂

Making Space for Peace: 

Challenges and Opportunities for Place-making, Peace-Building, and Urban Reform in the Philippines


Ica Fernandez



‘Urban and regional planning’ and ‘peace and development’ are phrases that rarely go hand-in-hand. Planner-architects and engineers dealing with the built environment (hence the professional Philippine discipline of ‘environmental planning’) rarely engage with those tagged as ‘peacebuilders’: that is, lawyer-negotiators, political scientists, and members of the security sector, let alone economists, development workers, orlocal civic organizations. However, this is a false divide, as many of the nation’s fundamental challenges are embedded in its streets and buildings, in the urban fabric of our communities.  


There are serious implications when legal and political agreements—ranging from parameters for internal revenue allotments to peace deals to shifts to federal systems of government–are drafted and implemented without clarifying their implications in actual space and place. Similarly, beautifully-rendered designs for projects such revitalising EDSA or reconstructing a bombed-out city, will never become reality unless checked for area-specific political, cultural, and financial issues, and the necessary safeguards built in to address them.Many of the development challenges for the country connect both urban and rural settings, and a more place-based approach can provide an entry-point for developing new and more effective responses to those challenges. For the Philippines to reach its full potential, there is a need for area development that focuses not only on legalities, economic investment, or physical infrastructure, but also includes a full a range of targeted, human-scale processes and designs that can bridge relationships between and amongst people who live, work, and play in the most vulnerable communities.


Part of the problem lies in the misconception that the need for ‘peacebuilding’ is a niche issue that affects only people in the hinterlands. However, conflict and the social inequality that fuels it is a barrier to the entire country’s full socio-economic potential. The Philippines is one of the most risk-prone countriesin the world. In 2018, it ranked second globally in terms of internal displacement—eighty percent due to natural disasters, and twenty percent due to armed conflict. The country is also home to formal peace negotiations with at least five non-state armed-groups, from the Cordilleras of Northern Luzon to the islands of the Visayas to the marshlands and islands of Mindanao, all of which have roots in historical grievances and narratives of dispossession. While Luzon has historically generated roughly 55% of all economic growth, the poorest regions of CARAGA and the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) host the largest armed groups in the archipelago: the Communist Party of the Philippines / New People’s Army / National Democratic Front (popularly known as the NPA), and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and its precursor, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). While the MNLF and MILF have signed peace agreements for the transformation of governance in southern Philippines, the talks with the NPA remain unsuccessful. The same resource-rich yet income-poor areas are home to many indigenous peoples’ groups, who tend to be caught in the crossfire. The protracted, low-intensity and seemingly intractable nature of these localized and multiple conflicts means that social tensions are never fully resolved, and often spills into what is called horizontal conflicts related to political competition and the so-called ‘shadow economy’. 


No country with a running subnational conflict such as that experienced in the Philippines for the last six decades has achieved a Sustainable Development Goal. Estimates show that it costs a medium-sized developing country the equivalent of 30 years of GDP growth, and will take at least a generation to reverse. Although poverty is not a direct cause of conflict, it is clear that poverty is a driver of conflict, while conflict exacerbates poverty.


Although these contestations have traditionally been rural in nature, increasing urbanization is making a place-centered approach to peacebuilding, or a conflict-sensitive approach to placemaking, a more urgent issue. At present, half of all Filipinos live in cities. This is projected to reach 84% by 2050. Philippine cities generate 70% of the GDP, of which 36% is generated in Metro Manila alone.  Cities are conflictual by their very nature, but the density of people, infrastructure, goods, and services that characterises urban life ensures that the scale of urban violence and insecurity can easily eclipse that of open warfare, with high human and economic costs. This has implications not only on places such as Marawi, Cotabato, or Jolo, but even in areas such as Metro Davao or Metro Manilaitself—which in 2017 was the ranked the 10th most stressful city in the world, and the only one on the list without a traditional civil war. Although urban poverty incidence (12.5%) was less than half of the national poverty incidence (25.2%) in 2012, cities remain sites of deep and multidimensional poverty, where crushing traffic jams occur just outside closed-off subdivisions and gated communities sitting cheek-byjowl against sprawling slums.   In this light, armed conflicts—which translates in Tagalog as ‘hidwaan’, or separationare just more dramatic reflections of the kind of disconnections we deal with on a day-to-day basis, or why our current systems of transportation,education, housing, health, livelihood, culture, and yes, politics, don’t seem to reflect our most fundamental needs and realities.


So what can be done to connect and not divide? Much of the established conflict economics toolkits are at the national, regional, and provincial levels (which are crucial for strategic planning), but the nuances of these areas can be best understood and therefore implemented at the level of the city and the architectural shape of neighborhoods, in the praxis of what people in cities do. This means combining the toolkits of both peacebuilding and urban design to encourage healthy spaces and linkages between economically lagging and leading areas. This means national policies that allow for regional and provincial and local integration, while dealing with the specific challenges of each place.  


For people in working as urban planners, engineers, or architects, this means shifting from the dominant Philippine misconception of spatial planning as a purely technocratic or physical design exercise but something closer to what scholars describe as ‘place-governance’.  As written by Mumford in 1938, cities are the ‘point of maximum concentration for the power and culture of a community,’ and that one of the chief functions of the city is to ‘convert power into form.’ Part of this is acknowledging that the state of our cities, its design and infrastructure is but a reflection of social realities. Whileplanning at its best can and should be a tool for inclusive economic growth and redistributive justice, it is often complicit in the power structures that propagate inequalities themselves. 


A useful guidephrase is conflict-sensitivity, which is operationally defined as a contextual understanding of the conflict topography unique to a given area that should inform programs and  project interventions. It is a term typically used in tandem with the principle of ‘do no harm’, meaning that development decisions should not cause further damage to a community or a society that has been ravaged by conflict.  This highlights that there are no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions, and so interventions must be nuanced based on the specific drivers and challenges in the area. 


This asks for a multi-dimensional, multi-sectoral framework, not sectoral silos, which will then be grounded in space and place. An approach with a place-governance lens demands a balance between both short-term confidence-building requirements and longterm broad developmental outcomes, which cannot be limited by traditional three-year political terms. Similarly, this means that culture and identity is not just a question of aesthetic design, but asks how people use places and spaces to live, work, and play. 


This also means gradually building a homegrown conception of Philippine archipelagic urban politics, given that the planning concepts and land ownership laws presently in use and taught in schools are legacies of our Spanish and American colonial pasts. As shown in our car-centric transport system, these foreign models are often stacked towards the middle-class and upper-middle class. The Philippines has no national urban or general land use policy or plan, and is hampered by fractured institutional authorities and disjointed coordination and integration amongst city, province, and national administrations. 


Whilst Environmental Planning is licensed by the Professional Regulation Commission, few local governments have trained personnel that are able to harness the various interdisciplinary inputs required for effective urban planning and design. An average city planning officer is tasked to draft at least a dozen area and sectoral plans, despite attempts by the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (soon to be transformed into the Department of Human Settlements), and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to harmonise and simplify these processes. Very few institutions, whether public, private, or academic, are able to provide adequate training, let alone generate policy options for decision-makers. As such, many planning processes end up as checklist exercises for compliance; cut-and-paste CLUPs and CDPs are not unusual. Although community consultation is a requirement for local planning processes, meaningful participation in urbanization–particularly of the most marginalized and vulnerable–remains to be fully realized.


A peacebuilding approach to place-making means thatdevelopment is not just delivering hard infrastructure, but designing processes that can build confidence and stability and promote ‘social cohesion’, or what is defined as the “norms, values, and social relations that bond communities together, as well as form bridges between communal groups and the state”.This is important in the implementation of peace agreement themselves, which have major components related to land, housing, and property. It is equally important when dealing with informal settler families and small-scale vendors in cities, whotraditional development paradigms dismiss as eyesores although global evidence now acknowledges the major role of the so-called informal economy in driving the engines of growth. 


The unfinished talks with the CPP/NPA/NDFP should have led to the drafting of the so-called CASER, or a Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms, which includes substantive provisions on agrarian reform, ancestral land, environmental protection, and industrialization. The GPH-MILF Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro acknowledges the historical marginalization and land dispossession of the non-Christianized peoples of the region, and guarantees the area development of six major camps of the MILF, as well as the potential provision of programs such as housing for demobilized former combatants. Again, these issues cannot be seen from just a counterinsurgent or physical infrastructure lens—we forget atour peril that these mujahideen and mujahidat did not fight for handouts or raw concrete, but something much more dignified.The major place-making-as-peace-building challenge of the last five years, however, is the 250hectares of destroyed urban corein the Islamic City of Marawi, and the fundamental request of residents for government to finish clearing bombs and unexploded ordinance to allow them to finally go home.



A place-governance approach does not necessarily require separate urbanization programs. Place-governance involves lenses and principles that can be applied to pre-existing economic and social development initiatives, encouraging a shift from place-breaking to a place-making culture. There are a number of options for engagement, which can be with regional governments such as the BARMM or direct with local governments at the provincial, municipal, and barangay levels; national and regional agencies and instrumentalities; and most especially, engaging the private sector, the academe, and home-owners and community members everywhere.  Part of the challenge of urban policy reform is attitudinal; because it’s seen as too large, difficult, or abstract to engage. What will be needed is grounding this perspective in very targeted programs, allowing local stakeholders to have a clear and personal stake.


At its core, the toolkit for place-making for peace-building is driven by two things: ensuring connections, not divisions, and “dealing with the past”, or the things that make people hurt and angry—in tangible form. It also hearkens back in many ways to the model of peace-building as a spiritual and ethical act, particularly to the root work of religion, re-ligiere, which means reconnection. It is not about dogma or right or wrong, butbringing together what has been severed. By helping design and strengthen processes that can support sustainable and inclusive places, we may ripen to models of local governance and place-leadership that can bridge our many divides.