ARMM brings humanitarian aid to displaced families in Maguindanao
Cotabato City (03 March 2015) – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao conducted a humanitarian mission today, 03 March, in the municipalities of Mamasapano, Datu Saudi and Datu Salibo in Maguindanao to give assistance to families displaced by the ongoing joint law enforcement operation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the province.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman led the humanitarian mission together with other disaster response partners of the region including some local officials. The mission included food and medical assistance, psychosocial interventions and sessions on mine-risk education.
The military offensive in at least 8 towns has already displaced around 8,300 families or 40,000 individuals. Affected municipalities include Shariff Saydona, Mamasapano, Datu Unsay, Shariff Aguak, Datu Salibo, Rajah Buayan, Datu Hoffer and Datu Saudi.
The fighting has also disrupted the classes of at least 16,000 elementary and secondary students.
In an emergency meeting of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) on Monday, Hataman emphasized the urgency of responding to the needs of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
He said they are closely coordinating with the national government to ensure that the basic needs of affected individuals will be attended.
Since Saturday, 28 February, the ARMM through its Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team (HEART) served a total of 7, 208 families. A total of 4,323 families benefited from today’s humanitarian mission.
Sapiya Pangadil, 60, of Barangay Tina in Mamasapano town is thankful to the ARMM government for the help, but prays the frequent armed conflict in their place would end so that her 7 grandchildren can finish their schooling.
Moreover, Hataman said they will address issues on education and the health of the IDPs staying in evacuation sites.
“I directed the education secretary na ikutin lahat ng apektadong eskwelehan. Nakita naman natin ang sitwasyon na medyo normal na. Baka pwede nang kausapin ang mga guro sa ibang lugar na dapat magklase na sila at wag na nilang i-collateral damage,” he said.
He added that they are also looking at the health and sanitation of IDPs. “Proactively ina-address na natin yung mga sakit, pinaikot na natin ang health department para ma-assess ang mga community affected.” (Bureau of Public Information)