ARMM launches donation drive for IDPs in Maguindanao
Cotabato City (13 March 2015) – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has launched a donation drive on Friday to help cater to the basic needs of the growing number of internally displaced persons staying at different evacuation centers in Maguindanao.
The military operation that started in 25 February has now escalated to eleven towns in the province, forcing 19, 075 civilian families or 93, 402 individuals to take refuge in evacuation centers.
It also disrupted classes in 42 schools, affecting the education of at least 16,000 elementary and secondary students.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said they continue to respond to the needs of the displaced families while underscoring the call for peace.
The “Tabang Sibilyan, Isulong ang Kapayapaan” relief and peace advocacy campaign of the region aims to provide food and medical assistance to the evacuees and rally support for the continuation of the Mindanao peace process.
ARMM spends at least P12 million a week on food packs for the evacuees. The amount does not include the cost of other forms of assistance and the logistics.
Deputy Executive Secretary John Louie Balagot said the existing funds of the region will not be able to keep up with the rising number of evacuees.
The donation drive, he said, will help augment the resources of the regional government and raise awareness on the plight of civilians in the ongoing conflict in Maguindanao.
He added that it also aims to centralize donations intended for the IDPs.
A donation booth has been installed in front of the Office of the Bangsamoro People inside the ARMM compound in Cotabato City to accept donations in cash or in kind. The booth will operate daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Balagot said the regional government is asking the public and different institutions to donate food and clothing for the IDPs.
Cash and other forms of donations are also welcome, he said. (Bureau of Public Information)