MARAWI CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), through its Field Office (FO) in Region X, recently accepted 200 metric tons (200,000 kilos) of rice from the Government of Vietnam. The rice is intended for distribution to internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Marawi City who are in the process of resuming their lives in the destroyed city that is now being rebuilt.

His Excellency Ly Quoc Tuan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the Philippines handed over the donation to DSWD Undersecretary for Legislative Liaison Affairs and Special Presidential Directives in the Mindanao Region, Luzviminda Ilagan, and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Office of the Asian and the Pacific Affairs Director Marford Angeles, in a ceremonial turnover held last week at the DSWD’s Warehouse in Dalipuga, Iligan City.

DSWD OIC secretary Emmanuel Leyco (L) inspects October 24, 2017 rice supplies inside a warehouse in Iligan City intended for people displaced by the five-month old fighting between military and Pro Islamic State militants in Marawi City, Southern Philippines. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem)

DSWD FO X Regional Director Nestor Briones Ramos, who is the Assistant Program Manager for Special Operations in Marawi and other Affected Localities, recognized the support of Vietnam in the Department’s continuous relief efforts for displaced families because of the war that erupted last year in Marawi City.

“We appreciate the Government of Vietnam’s aid to the people of Marawi. Your generosity and assistance will go a long way in the continuous provision of needed relief to the displaced residents who will be returning to their respective homes in the city,” Director Ramos said.

DSWD Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel A. Leyco welcomed the donation, which, he said, will help the Department ensure that adequate food is provided to the survivors of the armed conflict.

“We would like to express our gratitude to the Government of Vietnam for helping us to continuously respond to the basic needs of the displaced residents of Marawi. This rice donation will help us ensure food security for the IDPs, which our field offices in Northern Mindanao and SOCCSKSARGEN Regions continue to serve,” he said.

After the ceremony, Usec. Ilagan, together with Director Ramos and DFA Director Angeles, accompanied Ambassador Tuan for a visit to the resettlement area for Marawi siege survivors in Sangongsongan, Marawi City.

Some 8,000 sacks of rice weighing 25 kilos each are now at the DSWD Warehouse in Iligan City.

The donated rice will be turned over to the LGU of Marawi for distribution to returning IDPs in the city. (SMS Central Office)