The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is continuously monitoring and assisting local government units (LGUs) of Basilan that have been affected by the on-going clashes between government troops and the Abu Sayyaf (ASG).
To date, a total of 3,423 families or 18,783 persons from Albarka, Tipo-Tipo, Ungkaya Pukan have been affected. The clash between military troops and the ASG in these towns first occurred on July 2 and 6 and escalated in August. The government has sent more troops to the area.
Meanwhile, a total of 1,729 families or 6,218 persons from the four municipalities in Basilan, namely; Sumisip, Tuburan, Moh Ajul and Akbar were advised by the Provincial Government to take pre-emptive evacuation even if there was no encounter between the ASG and the military.
However, no evacuation centers were opened, since the displaced families opted to stay with relatives and friends. Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program personnel in the province continue to assist the provincial government in checking on the condition of the displaced families.
To date, disaster teams from DSWD-Field Office IX are continuously coordinating with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) which is directly in contact with the affected families, for updates on the status of their needed augmentation support.
As of this reporting, the PSWDO is providing assistance to the families.
"Nais naming masiguro ang kaligtasan at maibigay ng maagap ang mga pangangailangan ng mga pamilyang nakatira sa mga lugar na may bakbakan. Kadalasan na ang mga inosenteng sibilyan ang nagdurusa kapag may mga ganitong military operations (We want to ensure the safety and to immediately provide for the needs of the civilians living in the conflict affected areas. Most often, innocent civilians are the ones who suffer because of military operations)," Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo emphasized.
Source: Philippine Information Agency