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Priorities of Households

Although many efforts have been made in recent years to address the humanitarian and longer term recovery needs of the population in Mindanao, most respondents reported and expected no or little improvement in their daily lives. A majority (77%) judged their lives in general at the time of the survey to be the same compared to a year before, and the same proportion (77%) expected their situation to be the same for the foreseeable future (a year from the survey). There were some differences across strata. Respondents in Lanao del Norte, for example,held mixed views about progress over the previous year: 31 percent judged their situation has having worsened, and 21 percent judged it has having improved. Elsewhere, a large majority of the population judge the situation to be the same (76% and above).

By resettlement status, it is displaced house holdsthat were the most negative about both past and future progress: 29 percent of the displaced households judged their situation as having worsened over the year prior to the survey, and 26 percent judged that their situation would worsen over the following 6 months period.

Figure 36: Past and future progress (life in general)

Figure 36 -  Past and future progress (life in general)

To give insights into respondents’ priorities going forward, the survey asked respondents to list and rank up to three of their most pressing problems or priorities. In general, their responses highlight the importance of socio-economic development. Among respondents’ top priorities, money (74%) and employment (45%) ranked highest, followed by basic needs and services such as food (39%), health (27%), and education (20%). In Maguindanao, addressing the violence was most frequently placed among people’s main priorities (18% mentioned violence as their main priority, and 33% mentioned it among their three main priorities). In comparison, a low number of people in other provinces mentioned this, leading to an overall average of 4 percent and 8 percent respectively in the survey area.

Figure 37: Respondents’ individual priorities

Figure 37 -  Respondents’ individual priorities

People were also requested to identify priorities for government action. Their responses were largely aligned withtheir own priorities and concerns. They most frequently identified employment (48%), poverty reduction (34%), and money (33%) as priorities, as well as basic needs and social services, including food (23%), water (22%), health services (21%), and education programs (15%). The notable differences with respondents' own priorities were roads (30%) and electricity (13%) which were more frequently mentioned, possibly because they are seen as being among the responsibilities of the government, rather than individual ones.

Figure 38: Respondents’ priorities for the government

Figure 38 -  Respondents’ priorities for the government

Priorities varied across groups, suggesting differences based on local conditions and resources. Households displaced at the time of the survey had priorities notably different from those of other groups. They identified resettlement (39%), ending the violence (35%) and education (25%) as their own priorities more frequently than any other settlement group. Similarly, they most frequently proposed the government’s priorities to be resolving the conflicts (38%), education programs (24%), and improving security (23%). Currently displaced households focused less frequently on employment and money, although employment was still the second highest single top priority (12%).

Measures for displaced households and victims of violence

Two questions were asked of all respondents to assess what, if anything, they believed should be done for the people who were displaced and those who were victims of violence. Most proposed that displaced households should receive food (82%), money (60%), health care (49%), employment (47%), as well as land (22%) and livestock (19%). Displaced households themselves emphasized food (92%) and money (75%).

To facilitate the return of the displaced, a majority of respondents identified the need to provide food assistance (89%), followed by improving security (49%), assistance for rebuilding shelters/housing (44%), farming tools (21%) and providing access to land (19%). The households that were displaced at the time of the survey emphasized most frequently the need for food (90%) and the need for assistance to rebuild houses (73%). In addition, 58 percent said 'bring security' and 44 percent said "give tools/inputs for farming”. Respondents most frequently identified barangay captains (89%), and municipal authorities (64%), and, to a lesser extent provincial authorities (28%), as being in charge of the return and resettlement processes.

Asked what should be done for victims of violence, respondents provided similar responses, but with a higher emphasis on health care (63%), followed by food (57%), employment (56%), and money (53%). Households that were displaced at the time of the survey emphasized that measures for victims of violence should include money (76%), food (66%), and health care (65%). For most respondents, municipal (81%), provincial (69%) and central (63%) authorities should be in charge of providing assistance to those who were displaced and/or affected by violence. Few mentioned the MILF (10%), ARMM (8%) and MNLF (4%), although the responses on these three options were more frequent in Maguindanao (respectively 40%, 10% and 23%).