The government continues to provide several business and livelihood opportunities for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Marawi City, a Palace official said on Monday, September 11.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said IDPs were provided with short courses on baking, processed food production and dressmaking as part of the interventions the government has been doing to bring the Islamic city back on its feet.
“Around 775 slots were offered in various skills trainings completed last week,” Abella said during the regular Mindanao Hour press briefing in Malacañan.
He added that IDPs who intended to continue with their businesses were given raw materials and were provided with opportunity to showcase their products such as malongs in the Kahimunan Trade Fair in Cagayan De Oro and GO Negosyo Center in Iligan through the Provincial Government of Lanao Del Norte.
The Palace official said the Task Force Bangon Marawi Sub-Committee on Business and Livelihood is working on the establishment of a “Little Padian sa Iligan”, which is a tiangge where the IDPs could sell their products.
In the same briefing, Abella in his statement on the 16th anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City, said the Philippine government stands united with other nations in fighting global terrorism and groups who espouse “bigotry, fanaticism and anarchy”.
He noted that the country’s domestic issue of ending the Marawi siege is already “in its last miles.”
“To stop the spread of terrorist ideology, we are working as one nation, pouring resources and infrastructure development in Mindanao while pursuing peace talks with the Moro rebels and pushing for legislation the creation of a Bangsamoro region within the sovereignty of the Republic. Let us continue to remain united in our concerted effort to defeat terrorism,” he said.
On Hurricane Irma
Meanwhile, Abella also stated that the Philippine government is closely monitoring the condition of Filipinos who may be affected by Hurricane Irma in the United States.
“The Philippine embassy in Washington, D.C. has already advised the close to 200,000 members of the Filipino Community in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina to comply with the evacuation orders issued by authorities,” he said.
He added that Filipinos in North Carolina and Virginia have also been advised to take the necessary precautionary measures after both states were placed under a state of emergency.
“We assure our kababayans that our embassy and consular staff will be on standby in case of any need,” he stressed.
Abella also announced the designation of Undersecretary Rosalina L. Bistoyong as the Officer-in-Charge of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“OIC Bistoyong’s designation will ensure the continuous delivery of public service,” Abella said noting that the order took effect on September 8.
On Carl Angelo Arnaiz case
Abella also issued a statement on recent development in the case of Carl Angelo Arnaiz.
He said the Palace expects taxi driver, Mr. Tomas Bagcal, to cooperate with authorities. Bagcal was identified by the Caloocan police as the victim of the alleged robbery committed by the slain teenager.
“The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is now conducting a parallel probe in the Carl Angelo Arnaiz case and Mr. Bagcal is vital in its speedy resolution,” the Palace spokesman said.
“We expect the truth of the matter to be clarified and those responsible made accountable before the law,” he added.
Joining Abella Monday was Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., the spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, who also gave an update on the situation in war-torn Marawi.
Padilla thanked the members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who remain committed to end the operations of Daesh-inspired groups within and around their areas of operation, particularly in the South Cotabato-Maguindanao area.
“Their commitment in the words of the Chairman, Mr. Iqbal, has been to work relentlessly to finish the ISIS or the Daesh-inspired group in their area that have been polluting the minds of their fellow Muslims and bringing them out of the wrong path or showing them the wrong path of the Islamic faith,” he said.
Padilla also reported that government forces have retaken a bridge in Banggolo area, which is important to the military’s operations. The military is working to reclaim another bridge in the next few days, he added. ###PND