COTABATO CITY – The Department of the Interior and Local Government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DILG-ARMM) urged local government units (LGUs) to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Marawi City in any way possible.
Atty. Noor Hafizullah Abdullah, Secretary of DILG-ARMM, said the crisis in Marawi City calls for LGUs in the region, as well as in other regions, to extend assistance especially to the needy, such as women, children, and senior citizens. So far, LGUs adjacent to Marawi City have extended significant assistance to residents displaced by the hostilities, but since most of these are 6th-class towns, Sec. Abdullah said, “They may not be able to sustain their humanitarian efforts.”
As of June 6, a total of 47,957 families, or 239,878 individuals, have left Marawi City for evacuation centers in nearby towns and cities. Some have moved to homes of their relatives outside Marawi.
While the regional government has earmarked P100 million in relief assistance even as donations from various individuals and organizations are pouring in, Sec. Abdullah said Marawi residents need assistance since it may take time before the city would be fully rehabilitated and displaced families may have to stay longer in evacuation centers.
“We have also requested the provincial governments in the ARMM to send their relief assistance to help those affected by the clashes, and they have already responded,” Sec. Abdullah said. He also called for breastfeeding spaces for mothers in evacuation centers. As of date, there are 41 designated evacuation centers catering to 7,956 families, or 40,573 individuals.
“In times of disaster and calamities, LGUs are specifically mandated to protect our people: women, children, infants, sickly and the elderly. The LGUs should provide utmost attention to them,” Sec. Abdullah added.
Meanwhile, LGUs were also urged to safeguard the schools in nearby towns and regions since classes started on Monday, June 5. A total of 132 public and private schools in Marawi have been adversely affected by the fighting, seven of which are partially, or fully, damaged. The clashes also affected 22,222 students and 2,205 teaching and non-teaching staff.
“In other regions, we are likewise calling for the LGUs to protect the schools in any forms of threats, especially during these times of crisis where students are in schools during weekdays,” Sec. Abdullah said. Education Secretary Leonor Briones said there are 1,391 children from Marawi City who are now enrolled in schools outside the city. (Bureau of Public Information)
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