CAGAYAN de Oro City--The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Region 10 (DSWD-10) in Northern Mindanao on Monday warned evacuees displaced by the fighting in Marawi City not to sell the relief goods handed to them by the government otherwise they will be deleted from the lists of beneficiaries.
DSWD-10 regional spokesperson Oliver Inodeo said the agency issued the warning following reports that some of the evacuees are murmuring about the monotonous canned goods and other food items that they are receiving.
In a separate statement, DSWD-10 Director Nestor Ramos said: “We understand that (the evacuees) are in need of money that is why they are selling the relief goods. But we also have to realize that based on our guidelines, selling these relief goods is prohibited. It also serves as their daily consumption while they are evacuating in our region.”
Inodeo said DSWD is currently working on a plan to hand other food items such as chicken, dried fish and beans so the evacuees would receive varied meals every day, whether they are in evacuation centers or home-based.
On one hand, Ramos said the agency is working on the so-called cash for work program to be implemented among evacuees.
“We are giving out P200 each day for ten days for our internally displaced persons in exchange for work rendered like cleaning the evacuation centers, dredging canals, cleaning out surroundings, among others,” Ramos said.
Meanwhile, in line with the ongoing efforts to care for persons displaced by the fighting in Marawi City, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has distributed last month relief goods to 1,500 “bakwit” families in seven evacuation centers in Iligan City.
In a statement, NCRPO chief, Director Oscar D. Albayalde, said the relief goods included malongs, sweaters. cardigans, t-shirts, leggings, undergarments, toys for kids, first aid kits, diapers and biscuits.
Albayalde hopes that these relief items would somehow ease the burden of the evacuees.
“We are committed to help, in our own little ways we will help rebuild the lives of our communities in Marawi,” he added.
Fighting in Marawi City started last May 23 after government troops tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and his cohorts.
The attempt prompted Maute group’s allies to launch a series of attacks in the city. --With a report from the Philippine News Agency
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