Friday, March 20, 2015

DSWD provides assistance to families in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao --Soliman

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 20): DSWD provides assistance to families in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao --Soliman
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Friday it is continuing to provide assistance to families affected by the military offensives in Maguindanao and some other areas in Mindanao.

In a press briefing held Friday at the DSWD Central Office in Batasan Hills, Quezon City, DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman said the assistance is being provided to the internally-displaced persons (IDPs) in the form of food packs and non-food items.

“The DSWD has provided them assistance worth PhP24,577,690, which was distributed through the DSWD-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and in coordination with the local government units of the affected families,” she said.

According to Soliman, the distribution of assistance is also being made in partnership with the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH)-Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP).

She said that relief supplies were also given to the evacuees in 75 evacuation centers.

A total of 26,959 families or 131,775 persons have been affected by the continuing armed conflict in the area. Morethan 19,000 families are inside evacuation centers while some have returned home.

The 75 evacuation centers can be found in Mamasapano, Pagalungan, Datu Salibo, Shariff Saydona, Datu Unsay, Shariff Aguak, Raja Buayan, Datu Hoffer, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Guindulungan, Talayan, Talitay, Datu Anggal, Maguindanao, and Pikit, North Cotabato.

The DSWd chief said that also given assistance were families affected in the clash between New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and the Philippine Army in Bitaugan, Surigao del Sur.

A total of PhP52,290 worth of assistance was provided to IDPs in Surigao del Sur, PhP4,421,600 in North Cotabato, and PhP20,103,800 in Maguindanao.

Soliman said that aside from the food and non-food items distributed, the department had also given burial and financial assistance to the families of civilians hurt or killed in the Jan. 25 Mamasapano incident.

“Immediately the day after Jan. 25 when that happened (referring to the clash), on Jan. 26 to 27, we immediately gave different forms of assistance to the families of the civilians killed, including the eight-year-old girl and her family, and other civilians brought in the hospitals, aside from distributing food packs,” the DSWD chief said.

She added that so far, about PhP1,221,440 worth of assistance was provided by the DSWD to the families of the slain 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) commandos.

She said that such assistance was given in different forms depending on what were the most identified needs of the families, including food packs, burial assistance and livelihood package.

Such assistance was in addition to what the families have received from the PNP, the President's Social Funds, livelihood package from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and housing assistance from the National Housing Authority (NHA).

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