The government’s efforts to restore Marawi City and other war-torn areas continue to move forward, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar announced on Friday, December 8.
“As more IDPs (internally displaced persons) come home, we strive to keep our hopes up that they would go back to a peaceful and prosperous Marawi,” Secretary Andanar said in the Bangon Marawi press briefing in Malacanang.
The Sub-Committee on Business and Livelihood of the Task Force Bangon Marawi, headed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), continues to provide sari-sari store kits, sewing equipment, and carpentry and electronic technician tools to the IDPs in different evacuation centers and to those who have already returned home to Marawi.
Moreover, DTI’s Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) provided a maximum of P10,000 worth of loans to each 100 eligible IDP borrowers to help them start businesses.
Aside from these livelihood opportunities, the local government of Marawi conducted community mappings in barangays under cluster number 3 in preparation for the next batch of “Kambalingan” or IDPs’ homecoming.
“The latest count of returnees, as of yesterday, December 7, 2017, are, in 19 barangays, 14,319 families or 71,595 persons,” Andanar reported.
Andanar added that 54.12 percent of Marawi City has been restored with electricity.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development, (DSWD), on the other hand, has already given 10,576 returning families from clusters 1 and 2 access to its support and maintenance services worth P116,530,934, which included financial assistance, food packs, and hygiene and kitchen kits.
Further, the Department of Education (DepEd) will mobilize its resources and various units through the Brigada Eskwela sa Marawi (BESM), set to launch on December 13, in an effort to help students displaced by the crisis.
‘DOH’s intensified rehab efforts in Marawi’
The Department of Health (DOH) has also intensified its ongoing efforts to respond to health challenges faced by displaced families in Marawi City.
They were given TSeKaP, or the Tamang Serbisyo sa Kalusugan ng Pamilya, services which included the provision of medical supplies as part of the ongoing medical assistance to all IDPs.
“Moreover, psychological intervention has been made available to affected families and service providers in an effort to address their mental health needs,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.
Marawi hospitals, particularly the Amai Pakpak Medical Center and the Doctor Abdullah Hospital, are on a 24/7 operation.
“The DOH central office, as well as its regional offices and partner agencies, have given a total of P222,388,985 worth of logistics and funding assistance to the hospitals as well as to the evacuation centers in the concerned areas,” Duque reported.
‘Martial law extension in Mindanao’
In the same press briefing, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesperson Major General Restituto Padilla Jr. disclosed the AFP has recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the extension of martial law in Mindanao.
“Our recommendation has been submitted to the Secretary of National Defense, and the Secretary, after duly studying it, has forwarded the recommendation to Malacañan,” Padilla said, adding that he was not privy to the length or duration of the extension.
He cited the continuing threats posed by the Daulah Islamiyah, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) as bases for the martial law extension.
The AFP Spokesperson also said the increasing violent incidents perpetrated by the communist rebels, following the President’s declaration to formally end the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front (NDF), is something the government needs to watch out for. ###PCO-Content