Ayala Reaffirms Commitment To Support Marawi

One year after announcing the construction of a drug rehabilitation center in Marawi City,  the City Government of Marawi and Ayala Corporation, through its social development arm Ayala Foundation are inaugurating the Siyapen Center, which is expanding its services to address some of the most pressing needs of the city.

Inaugurated in January 2018, the Siyapen Center, which was originally developed as a community-based center for the holistic care of drug patients, will also now serve as a hub for economic activity for Marawi residents, especially for those in need of short-term employment, on a cash-for-work basis.

The Siyapen Center was officially launched in a program at Bgy. Sagongsongan with President Rodrigo Duterte, Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra, Lanao del Sur Governor Soraya Alonto-Adiong, and Ayala Foundation President Ruel Maranan, and other partners from the government and private sectors.

The Siyapen Center—which is named after the Maranao word for “care”—is a 70-bed, 2-storey facility with a total floor area of 851 square meters, sitting on a lot area of 2,000 square meters. Located in Barangay Poblacion, the building used to be a public market and is owned by the Marawi City government. It was refurbished with the help of the Ayala Corporation through the Makati Development Corporation. The building was completed in May 2017, and fortunately survived the Marawi Siege.

Aside from the refurbishment of the building worth PhP30 million, Ayala is also providing cash for work funding of Ph3 million for the livelihood initiatives of Marawi City. Two service vehicles, provided with the assistance of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, are also turned over to the city government, for the Siyapen Center’s use.

Aside from the Siyapen Center, Ayala has also donated Php10M for soldiers who served during the crisis and their affected families as they begin to rebuild and recover from one of the most difficult ordeals that the country has faced.

“The Ayala group remains committed to assisting our fellow Filipinos in Mindanao, particularly in the recovery and development of Marawi City,” says Fernando Zobel de Ayala, president of Ayala Corporation. “Through Ayala Foundation, the Ayala group has been working closely with communities in Muslim Mindanao for more than 50 years, and we wish to continue to be partners in its progress.”

“We are grateful for our continued partnership with the City Government of Marawi, not only for the Siyapen Center, but also for other initiatives that can help improve lives in the communities,” says Ruel Maranan, president of Ayala Foundation. “Through livelihood support and other community development programs, we wish to reaffirm our support for the people of Marawi on their way to recovery.”

Siyapen follows the Ayala tradition of more than 5 decades of partnership with Mindanao.  Back in 1964, the Filipinas Foundation (FF), forerunner of Ayala Foundation, gave a year-long grant to the College of Agriculture of Xavier University’s (Ateneo de Cagayan) Sumilao Cattle Research program that sought to upgrade the quality of livestock in Bukidnon. In the early 1970s, FF commissioned several studies on Muslim Mindanao, looking at migration patterns, culture, public policy and economic opportunities. This was recognized to help “mend broken ties in Muslim Mindanao.” These old documents can still be accessed at the Filipinas Heritage Library(FHL) and some findings may still be applicable to present times. This was among the initiatives of FF President Enrique Zobel, who was given the honorary title of Sultan for his extraordinary friendship and support to the Bangsamoro people. During the burning of Jolo in 1974, Enrique Zobel gave temporary shelter in Manila to Muslim students who lost their homes.

Ayala Foundation President Ruel Maranan (left) ceremonially hands over the Ayala group’s support for Marawi to Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra (right). President Rodrigo Duterte personally witnesses the handover.

The 70-bed Siyapen Center in barangay Poblacion, Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.