‘Maranao-speaking’ psychologists needed in Marawi

In May 2017. Marawi residents queuing for safety as IS-inspired Maute terrorist launched Marawi siege. which displaced over 400,00 people.Photo taken by AFP as published by PDInquirer

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Healing the wounds after the five-month  Marawi siege takes time and it needs special skills to communicate with the returning Internally Displaces Persons (IDPs) as they are mostly Maranao-speaking.

Language, according to Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary Luzviminda Ilagan, is one of the challenges they are facing and the department is running out of psychologist who can speak the Maranao language.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary Luzviminda C. Ilagan emphasized “There is need though for additional, psychologists who can speak Maranao.”




As the DSWD lift some conditions in granting the conditional cash transfer to economically intervene on the needs of the returning IDP’s , there is a great need for psychological intervention to help them cope with the traces of crisis they went through.

There is need though for additional, psychologists who can speak Maranao,” Ilagan emphasized.

The DSWD differentiates the two kinds of evacuees, Ilagan stressed “Those in the centers and those who are home- based (living with their relatives). Their situation is far from the comforts of their old homes and they want to go home now which is understandable.”

Taking in psychologist who speaks their language is a big help because they can relate their stories and they will feel comfortable because that’s their language.

Villages now return to their homes in batches “depending on the go signal of the military to give them assurance that the area has been cleared and that they are,” Ilagan added.

On the lack of psychologist, Ilagan requested DSWD Assistant Secretary Acosta, who is in charge of constructing the temporary houses to build a multi purpose structure “that will be a women and children center for counseling meetings and livelihood training.”

Ilagan is happy to note that civil society groups are also helping the residents in their various needs “That is why despite the challenges, people are coping.”

When the Marawi siege broke off on May 23, 2017. residents hurriedly left their homes leaving valuables and cherished possessions as they ran for safety.

Rebuilding Marawi does not only means  structures and homes, above all, it needs phyco-social intervention to help residents rebuild their lives.

Peace stakeholders play major role in rebuilding a stronger and peaceful Marawi.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph