By Ellalyn de Vera-Ruiz
Close to 60,000 people in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Northern Mindanao have been displaced in the ongoing crossfire between the government troops and rebel groups in Marawi City.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its field offices (FOs) in Northern Mindanao and Soccsksargen continue to work with concerned local government units (LGUs) in the regions and with the DSWD in ARMM for the continuous provision of assistance to the internally displaced persons (IDPs).
DSWD-FO in Northern Mindanao continues to distribute family food packs and nonfood items to the affected residents who are taking refuge in the various evacuation centers in Iligan City, Bacolod, Baloi, and Pantao Ragat.
The field office has set up booths in the evacuation centers to ensure prompt response to the needs of the evacuees.
It is also conducting a validation of IDPs in various barangays who opted to stay with their relatives and friends rather than in the designated evacuation centers. Social workers from the field office collect their basic profile as reference for interventions.
Likewise, field office in Soccsksargen continues to distribute relief assistance to families from Marawi City who fled to Lanao Del Sur and Cotabato City.
DSWD field offices in Central Visayas and Caraga Region have sent augmentation support, including family food packs and nonfood items, such as mats, hygiene kits, solar lamps, blankets, and laminated sacks to DSWD in ARMM.
As of 8 a.m. Monday, the DSWD-Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DReAMB) reported that the armed conflict has displaced a total of 12,509 families or 59,665 persons in 26 barangays in Northern Mindanao and ARMM.
Of these IDPs, 1,018 families or 4,278 persons are still taking refuge in 14 evacuation centers set up in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur, while 10,974 families or 54,870 persons are staying outside the evacuation centers with their relatives or friends.
To date, the department has provided a total of P1,172,725 worth of assistance to the affected families.
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