Change happens in Matanos-a-Marawi

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By Sorhaila Latip-Yusoph

Only a Meranaw

Monday, August 4, 2014

MARAWI City has been tagged for so many years in the past as ‘Marumi City, Langao del Sur’ because of the community folks’ difficulty to maintain cleanliness and proper garbage disposal.

However, these days, I and some of my colleagues noticed a great change in the city. Marawi is no longer the ‘Marumi City’ we used to know.

Yesterday, I tried going by jeep to my workplace and I saw a different Marawi in the Banggolo area.


I saw a clean and well organized Banggolo with its newly renovated Cabili Park. One cannot miss this area when leaving downtown.

Who inspired this change? I always have this question in mind ever since I see change in the different barrios in Marawi.

When I finally attended the meeting last July 23, 2014 with the ‘Matanos-a-Marawi’ team and the USAID’s Enhancing Governance Accountability and Engagement (Engage) Communications and Outreach specialist Luis Mendoza, Jr. , all of my queries were answered.

“Matanaos-a-Marawi is finally revived,” Councilor Abdani Alonto said during an interview I had with him.

He is one of the active councilors who initiated the program and the city ordinance for this purpose.

He further affirmed that if the people of Marawi will be united in helping this program, we can purely minimize if not totally eliminate problems in solid waste management in the city.

According to the Matanos-a-Marawi team, this is the first time that the community had efficiently supported the working group in pursuing its goals despite the many odds confronted by the city.

Multi-sectoral involvement makes great efforts towards the city’s transformation.

The team has also collaborated with the PNP-Marawi to strictly implement the city ordinance.

The Ulammah league and Mosque administrators involved awareness-raising in their preaching sessions in the mosques and Islamic seminars emphasizing this note: “So Kaplumpiyo na Sumpat o Paratiyaya” (Cleanliness is next to Godliness).

Further, model barangays identified by the team have institutionalized garbage disposal strategies such as proper places for disposal and pick-up points, huge garbage bins, and garbage fines for those who violate rules.

The team reaffirms that the success of this initiative was because of the political will of the government and the willingness of the people to change.

Additionally, they emphasized that there will be more activities to be done after the month of Ramadhan.

Among these are the cleanliness drives by barrio, radio program activities, student trainings via schools, and even an awarding ceremony for the best and most clean barangays in Marawi.

It was interesting to note that everyone in the meeting was hopeful that Marawi will have its time in the future to be among the cleanest cities.

Everyone believed that a big difference will happen in the future. Marawi constituents started believing in changing for the better.

Nevertheless, hopes will turn into reality when one is truly decided to change.

As what Islam taught every Muslim, “God does not change a people’s condition unless they do change themselves (Qur’an13:11).”

The time to change has come. Meranaws must have realized that change is needed today.

We are sick and tired of seeing garbage everywhere, smell stinky areas, and sacrifice seeing flies flying around our places.

We have gracefully embraced change. All we need to do is enhance awareness-raising activities around the city through different sectors and youth programs.

Let us all believe that by starting the initiatives within ourselves, we will become a good virus that will inflict other people around us.

Let us all reduce, reuse and recycle for a better Marawi!


Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 04, 2014.


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