As the lead agency in social protection, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is reiterating its call to uphold the protection of civilians, particularly the vulnerable sectors, during incidents of armed conflict as it joins the celebration of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Month this August.

This year’s theme, “Kaligtasan ng Mamamayan sa Panahon ng Digmaan, Sama-sama nating Pagtulungan,” emphasizes the protection of victims of war and armed conflict, such as the families affected by the Marawi siege.

DSWD Secretary Virginia N. Orogo stated, “Sa panahon ng digmaan, ang mga bulnerableng sektor katulad ng mga bata at kababaihan, matatanda at mga may kapansanan ang pinaka-naaapektuhan. Madalas na sa nangyayaring kaguluhan, nalalabag ang kanilang mga karapatang pantao (In times of war, it is the vulnerable sectors like children, women, older persons, and those with disabilities who are the most affected. Oftentimes, in the ensuing chaos, their human rights are violated).”

“We are appealing to all parties, combatants, and non-combatants alike, to always uphold the rights of people caught in armed conflict. It is painful enough that families are forced to flee their homes and their livelihood, while they are deprived of the opportunity to live a normal life,” Sec. Orogo expounded.

As of July 31, there are about 12,806 internally displaced families in Marawi City, of whom 1, 675 are still staying inside evacuation centers, while 11,131 are temporarily staying with relatives and friends in Regions 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, CARAGA and ARMM.

DSWD has provided a total of P1,769,307,357.20 worth of assistance to 75,752 families. These included relief assistance; livelihood assistance; Cash-for Work (CFW); and, Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS), such as medical, transportation/Balik Probinsya.

Moreover, the Department continues to intensify the implementation of social services for the IDPs as anchored under the Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Recovery and Rehabilitation Program (BMCRRP), namely, Kambalingan sa Marawi City; Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Cash-for-Work (CFW) for recovery and rehabilitation community works, Cash for Building Livelihood Assets (CBLA), Social Pension Program (SPP) for Indigent Senior Citizens, and Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP).

IHL Month celebration

The Department of National Defense – Armed Forces of the Philippines (DND-AFP) is the lead agency for this year’s celebration and has lined-up a series of activities which include the official opening of the IHL Month Celebration 2018, Ribbon-cutting Ceremony for the Launching of Photo Exhibit, IHL Run, Toys and Books for the Children of Marawi Donation Campaign, Bloodletting, IHL Training and Workshop for Government and Civil Society Organizations, IDP legislative lobbying, and Emblem Law Launching Ceremony.

Everyone is encouraged to support the different activities marking the IHL Month. ###