Photo by: Duyog Marawi

Macarampat (in white polo shirt) together with other residents of Barrio Green, Marawi City

Only a few residents of Barrio Green stayed on while some returned to where they had previously evacuated following their much-awaited November 1, 2017 homecoming convoy. Barrio Green is one of the 9 barangays included in the first batch of kambalingan (homecoming).

“Aya orientation rkami na makawma kmi ko darpa ami na adna light, adna ig. Na myakawma kami sii na da light” (We were oriented that when we arrived at our homes, there would be electricity and water supply. But when we arrived, there is no electricity) Jojo Macarampat, a worker in Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, said.

Macarampat, , added that “madakl a myaling ka da light.” (Many went back to their current abode because there is no electricity.)

He added that his family along with other former Barrio Green residents were not able to move back to their homes upon seeing them in total mess after 5 months.

Macarampat and his neighbors hesitated to move back to their former homes despite their longing because without basic utilities, enough food and water supply, and essential home appliances, they would still be struggling with their daily lives.

Some of the residents opted to leave again because they have been informed that relief services from the Local Government particularly the Department of Social Welfare and Development were good for about 100 households only, while over 300 households  were all still in dire need of assistance. Many had decided to return to  Iligan to give way to the others.

“Myaling kami ka di bo ptoon. Matag badn kambobonoan” (We went back home since it (relief services) won’t suffice. It might just cause fights.) Macarampat explained.

A source from Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative (Lasureco) told Duyog Marawi that electricity in Barrio Green would be restored by November 2, 2017.

However, it would only be made available for those who have paid their electric bills or debts covering their consumption prior to the Marawi seige.

By far, the Lasureco source said,   only 30% out of the – (how many) households in the area have updated their accounts for power re-connection.

For how long will these IDPs look forward to a real homecoming when not even their basic necessities could be provided?  One wonders.