The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to intensify its efforts to monitor the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to Marawi City and  to provide them relief  as  other government agencies and non-government organizations focus on building infrastructures for the temporary shelter of the affected families.

The DSWD heads the early recovery phase of the rehabilitation effort that includes all the basic social services. As part of the early recovery operation, DSWD provides the IDPs with one sack of rice and food packs good for three weeks.

Regional Director Bai Zorahayda Taha of Field Office 12 will be designated as the focal person for the DSWD’s efforts in Marawi, while Undersecretary Luzviminda Ilagan will serve as the focal person for Mindanao.

Earlier, DSWD-OIC Emmanuel Leyco visited the distribution of rice, food packs, and hygiene kits to the returning IDPs in Baranggays Matampay and Tampilong in Marawi. A total of 6,469 families have already returned to the nine barangays of Marawi City.

Last week,  OIC Leyco conducted an ocular visit to the relief  re-packing hubs in Iligan City and Initao. Afterwards, he met with Marawi Vice Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. and the local executives of the city and held a press briefing regarding the rehabilitation effort of the Department.

In the press briefing,  OIC Leyco stressed that conditionalities for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program will be lifted to immediately  accommodate the needs of the IDPs.  An assessment will be conducted to identify programs of the Department that can be utilized for the affected families.

“Nakahandang tugunan ng DSWD ang pangangailangan ng marami  (The DSWD is ready to help those in need),”  he added.

He emphasized that programs of the Department will be extended to the IDPs especially the Sustainable Livelihood Program and Cash for Work to assist them in building a community while staying in their transitional shelters.

OIC Leyco also mentioned that help from private, local and international organizations continues pending formal arrangement.

“Pagdating sa tulong, hindi dapat nahahaluan ng pulitika. Kung totoo ang pagtulong hindi dapat maapektuhan (Helping the needy should not be politicized. If the help is sincere it should not be affected by politics),” he explained.

OIC Leyco visited the temporary shelters at Sagonsongan, Marawi City. To ease congestion in the evacuation centers, a temporary shelter in an 11-hectare land is being built with two housing models—a 26-square meter steel house and a 24-square meter wooden house.

While NHA and LGU-Marawi focus on building infrastructures, DSWD will provide assistance on psycho-social support and basic services for the IDPs.

“Gaano katindi ang epekto ng gulong ito. Kung nawalan sila ng tiwala sa sarili at sa mga organisasyon, sana naman huwag silang mawalan ng tiwala sa pamahalaan na matulugang bumalik sa normalidad ang kanilang buhay ( How large is the extent of the impact of this conflict? If the people lost their self-confidence and their trust in organizations, I hope that they continue to believe in our government. Our goal is to bring them back to their normal lives),” he added.

Leyco stressed that DSWD will focus on the social development interventions for the affected families.

“Our ‘Ground Zero’ is in the communities and in the hearts and minds of our affected kababayans in Marawi. Our goal is to extend help as much as we can in their own efforts to recover from the impact and aftermath of the war,” he added.

As the government fast-tracks the construction of transitional shelters for IDPs, the Department continues monitoring  the return of IDPs in their respective barangays;  providing relief operations; and, conducting  the validation process for the IDPs especially those who are home-based.

OIC Leyco is set to meet with the President today,  Nov. 3, to give updates on the early recovery and relief operation of the Department for the affected families.#