Google map of Marawi City.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Lanao del Sur lawmakers have filed a bill seeking to institutionalize the protection of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country.

In a statement Wednesday, 1st District Representative Ziaur-Rahman Adiong said the bill he filed together with 2nd District Representative Yasser Balindong was in response to the gaps observed during the plight of IDPs in the 2017 Marawi City siege.

The measure also considered other forms of displacement as a result of either man-made or natural disasters.

“We need a bill that can help reduce the risk of displacement and prevent cases of arbitrary displacement, and we need a bill that can support those who are displaced in their efforts towards durable solutions,” Adiong said.

Adiong cited data in 2021 showing there were more than five million cases of internal displacements as a result of natural or man-made disasters.

In Mindanao alone, he said more than 800,000 households have experienced displacement first-hand in the last 20 years.

In Marawi City, he added that about 85,335 IDPs or roughly 17,000 households are still displaced, five years after the 2017 siege.

“We cannot ignore the reality these numbers represent, especially when one person displaced is one person too many,” Adiong said.

He said the bill protects the rights of IDPs in consistent with the principles enshrined in the 1987 Constitution, the standards set by international humanitarian law and human rights law, international treaties, and conventions adhered to by the Philippines, including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. (PNA)