The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)- Field Office (FO) IX is currently repacking additional family food packs for the families displaced by the ongoing military operations against the Abu Sayyaf (ASG). The FO targets 25,000 food packs for ready augmentation to affected local government units (LGUs) in Basilan and Sulu Provinces.
The FO currently maintains 18,182 food packs as well as other food items such as canned goods, coffee and sardines. It also stockpiles non-food items like clothing, blankets, soaps, slippers, among others.
Earlier, 5,000 food packs have been sent to Sulu while 6,000 packs have been provided as resource augmentation to the three affected municipalities in Basilan.
As of September 19, a total of 3,423 families with 18,783 persons from the municipalities of Albarka, Tipi-tipo, Ungkaya Pukan in Basilan were affected. It was also reported that 1,729 family heads with 6,218 dependents from the four municipalities of Sumisip, Tuburan, Hadji Mohammad Ajul, and Akbar have pre-emptively evacuated. They are still with their relatives and continue to be provided with relief assistance.
On the other hand, a total of 4,546 families or 23,920 persons from 44 barangays in Patikul, Maimbung, Indanan, Parang and Panamao in Sulu have been affected by the military operations in the province.
People’s Day
Over the weekend, the Provincial Government of Basilan initiated a “People’s Day” at Barangay Baguindan,Tipo-Tipo to encourage the affected families of the village to return to their houses as the area, as well as Brgy. Silangkum, have been declared safe by authorities. As of this reporting, the DSWD Disaster Team in Isabela City, Basilan reported that there have been no military clash/incidents for the past weeks within the Tipo-tipo area.
Also during the People’ Day, the provincial government distributed food packs to some 1,400 families and conducted feeding program for children.
A non-government organization, through the DSWD-FO ARMM, distributed school supplies such as notebooks, pencils, and crayons to school children. A medical mission was also conducted by the Department of Health.
“Kami po sa DSWD ay nagpapasalamat sa ibang mga ahensya at NGO na tumutulong sa mga kababayan nating naiipit sa kaguluhan sa Sulu at Basilan. Sana ay mas marami pang organisasyong tumulong upang mapabuti ang kalagayan ng mga Internally Displaced Persons (IDP). Malayo pa ang ating lalakbayin tungo sa kapayapaan sapagkat ang tunay na kalaban natin dito ay ang kahirapan na nagmumula sa kawalan ng lupa ng magsasaka at kawalan ng pambansang industriyalisasyon na maglilingkod sa interes ng mga manggagawa at buong sambayanan (We at the DSWD thank other agencies and NGOs who are helping our countrymen caught in the armed conflict in Sulu and Basilan. We hope that more organizations will help to improve the situation of the IDPs. We still have a long way to go to attain peace since our real enemy is the poverty caused by landlessness of the farmers and the absence of national industrialization that will serve the needs of the workers and of the entire people),” DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo stated. ###