Some 1,907 internally displaced persons (IDPs) or about 371 families from three barangays, who have sought refuge in this city received food packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) yesterday.
No less than DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo led the distribution of food packs which consist of 5 kilos rice, assorted canned goods and coffee held at Bagong Silang Evacuation Center.
The home-based IDPs from Barangay Santiago (30 families/190 individuals), Bagong Silang (172 families/887 individuals) and Tibanga (166 families/830 individuals) took shelter in the homes of their families and relatives in Iligan City following the clashes between government troops and Maute terror group in Marawi City.
In a brief program before the distribution, Councilor Ryan Ong welcomed the IDPs in behalf of City Mayor Celso G. Regencia and promised to extend all possible means, including resources to help ease their plight.
“We always pray to Allah that Marawi will be peaceful again so we could return to our normal life,” Faisalia Dinapinggun, a 48-year old entrepreneur from West Marinaut, Marawi said teary-eyed. She has 15 children aged between 8-25, and one is still left in Marawi.
Meanwhile, Secretary Taguiwalo said DSWD continues to monitor the growing number of IDPs in different areas and neighboring places.
“Nakikiisa kami sa mga taga Marawi na may naiwang mga mahal sa buhay doon. Pareho tayong nagnanais ng kapayapaan at sana matapos na ang kaguluhan para makabalik na kayong lahat sa Marawi,” the secretary emphatized.
She asked the IDPs what they want from the president and they said all they want is peace. “Gusto namin ng kapayapaan at tahimik na pamumuhay. Itigil na ang digmaan at bumalik sa normal ang sitwasyon sa Marawi.”
The relief distribution was witnessed by local officials and DSWD personnel.
Taguiwalo later attended a media briefing with local media at the regional command and coordination center for ARMM and Region 10. (ALT-PIA9/Zamboanga Sibugay)