DSWD completes aid to 1st batch of Marawi returnees

MANILA -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported Wednesday that it has completed the distribution of assistance to 5,783 families who have returned to Marawi after the armed conflict in the city ended last month.

Mayroon tayong nine barangays na bahagi ng first batch na natapos na nating na-serve. May 5,783 pamilya na ang kumpleto nang nabigyan ng tulong (We have nine barangays that were part of the first batch to be served. Some 5,783 families have already been given aid)," director of the DSWD office in the Soccsksargen region, Bai Zorahayda Taha, said in a news release issued Wednesday.

Taha said returnee-families in barangays Basak Malutlut, Marawi Poblacion, East Basak, Luksa Datu, Tampilong, Matampay, Datu Saber, Bo. Green and Panggao Saduc had received PHP59.24 million worth of family food packs, hygiene and kitchen kits, as well as financial assistance.

She reported that the food packs, called Kambalingan Package, could last up to two months. The initial package, which contained a sack of rice, 24 canned goods, 40 sachets of 3-in-1 coffee, and 2 kg. of pancit bihon, would be good for 17 days, she added.

Meanwhile, the hygiene kits, which cost PHP1,825 each, consisted of a bucket, toothbrushes (three for adults and two for children), toothpaste, a bottle of shampoo, bath and laundry soaps, sanitary napkins, two combs, a shaving razor, and a nail cutter.

On the other hand, the kitchen kits, each costing PHP796, contained five sets of spoon and fork, plate and glass; a frying pan; a cooking pan; and a ladle each.

Taja said 10 more barangays are scheduled to receive aid soon -- Bacold Chico, Lumbac Toros, Tuca, Toros, Pindolonan, Dayawan, Amito Marantao, Poona Marantao, Fort, and Bangun.

According to the DSWD, a total of 77,170 families or 353,636 individuals evacuated from Marawi when fighting broke out between government forces and terrorists linked to the Maute Group in late May.

Some 38,949 families fled to Northern Mindanao, 33,221 to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), 2,386 to Soccsksargen, and others to Davao, Caraga and Central Visayas.

The department said that as of Nov. 16, 4,668 families or 20,639 individuals are still in evacuation centers, while an estimated 75,502 families are living with relatives.

Task Force Bangon Marawi has directed the DSWD to provide the displaced families relief assistance to help them recover from the crisis.

Source: Philippine News Agency