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Beyond Marawi: Gravel seller talks of the impact of the crisis to neighboring towns

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JABBER MAMA, a resident of the small town of Bubong with its center located about 30 kilometers east of devastated Marawi City, directly feels the economic impact of the crisis. Married with five children, Mr. Mama makes a living collecting and selling gravel, like many in his community. They used to bring their goods to Marawi, which cost P50 in transport fare. “Before, we only spend P50 for the fare. Now, we have to take the way around Lake Lanao and pay at least P500 for our fare to Iligan City,” Mr. Mama said. Getting around other areas also cost more and take much longer now, he added, with the limited road access and checkpoints as security forces work to contain the Islamic-Inspired Maute Group that continue to hold ground in pockets of Marawi City. Another Bubong resident, Alikhan Pandiin, also a family man with four children, said they too need government assistance. As he looks on to the distribution of relief goods for displaced Marawi residents who are staying in evacuation centers in their town, Mr. Pandiin said in Filipino, “We hope government can help us too, we wish we can also receive relief goods because we also lost, we lost our livelihood.” — Albert F. Arcilla





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