Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte – Officials from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) joined President Rodrigo R. Duterte in yesterday’s distribution of the Department’s P1,000 financial assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Marawi who are currently staying in the city.
DSWD Undersecretary for Operations and Promotive Programs Hope V. Hervilla, together with Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DReAMB) Director Felino O. Castro, Field Office (FO) X Regional Director Nestor Ramos, and FO XII Regional Director Zorahayda Taha, facilitated the distribution of the cash aid to evacuees taking refuge at the Buru-un School of Fisheries, one of the first few evacuation centers identified when the Marawi siege erupted.
Meanwhile, staff from DSWD-FO X facilitated the release of the cash assistance to families staying in Maria Cristina Gymnasium and in Tibanga Gym Evacuation Center, also in Iligan City.
As earlier announced by DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo, the cash aid is intended for Muslim IDP’s purchase of more suitable food when they break their fast on the eve of June 26, the end of Ramadan.
“We have started the distribution of the cash assistance last Sunday so our fellow citizens may start using it. After conducting the payout in evacuation centers, we will start the distribution to home-based evacuees or those staying with their relatives and friends,” Usec. Hervilla said.
On Sunday, DSWD FO XII, together with DSWD ARMM, conducted the distribution of the cash assistance to IDPs staying at evacuation centers in Saguiran, Lanao del Sur.
The field office also provided a ‘Ramadan Pack’ to evacuees who fled to Region XII. The pack includes two cans each of fruit cocktail and condensed milk, two packs of all-purpose cream, one kilogram of brown sugar, and one bottle of sandwich spread. It also includes a liter of oil, one kilogram of bihon noodles, one bottle of soy sauce, and a box of chicken cubes.
As of 3pm yesterday, the armed operation in Marawi City has affected a total of 69,321 families or 338,674 individuals from 95 barangays in the city and 13 barangays in the Municipality of Marantao, Lanao Del Sur.
Some 3,747 families or 17,724 persons are still staying in 83 evacuation centers, while 60,810 families or 297,110 persons are taking refuge in their relatives’ and friends’ houses in Regions VII, X, XI, XII, CARAGA, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and Negros Island Region (NIR).
Iligan City has 815 validated IDP families living inside five open evacuation centers, including Maria Cristina (220), Buruun Gymnasium (55), Sta. Elena Gymnasium (244), National School of Fisheries in Buruun (174), and Tibanga Gymnasium (122).
Assistance provided by the DSWD to the affected families in the form of food and non-food items has now reached P76,159,994.
The Department has also augmented a total of P105,840,374 worth of funds to its responding field offices and response clusters.
Sec. Taguiwalo continued to encourage the public to help the Department in providing better services to the affected families by relaying their comments or suggestions in its relief operations.
“Please inform us if we have shortcomings. Relay to us your comments and suggestions. What we want is to cultivate and strengthen a culture of cooperation & compassion. We have to work together to better help those who need help,” she said. ###