MANILA, Philippines — Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said relief has reached residents who remain in Marawi City, where government forces continue to battle gunmen from the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups and apparently also a number of foreign extremists.
“The Provincial Social Welfare Development Office (PSWDO) of Lanao Del Sur reported that the residents were very happy to see them delivering the family food packs (FFPs) yesterday. They conducted relief distribution until the evening,” said Taguiwalo.
A statement said the DSWD central office, through its field offices in Regions 10 and 12, “has been providing augmentation support” to the DSWD in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, sending 10,000 family food packs as well as non-food items like plastic mats, blankets, and dignity kits to the operations center in Malabang, Lanao Del Sur for distribution to affected families.
“The DSWD ARMM leads the provision of assistance to residents inside Marawi City,” with the DSWD regional field offices aiding those who have fled the Lanao del Sur capital.
As of Friday, the DSWD-Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau reported that the Marawi conflict “has affected a total of 19,978 families or 100,289 individuals,” of which 2,955 families or 13,988 persons “are still taking refuge in 24 identified evacuation centers”, with 17,023 families or 86,301 persons “staying with their relatives and friends in Lanao Del Norte, Lanao Del Sur, and Cotabato.”
“We maintain our close coordination with the (local government units) to reach and extend aid to all affected families. We will assist them until they can return to their respective homes and bounce back to their normal lives,” Taguiwalo said.