Sat. May 25th, 2019

Marawi displaced families start receiving P73k cash aid each

IDPs ‘happy day’ – A Maranao internally displaced person (IDP) is all smiles as National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan haggles with him while receiving his family’s P73,000 cash aid

COTABATO CITY – Some of 15,000 Marawi siege-displaced families started receiving P73,000.00 cash aid each on Saturday from officials of national agencies involved in rehabilitating and rebuilding the war-torn Muslim community.

The beneficiaries, some of them tugging along their children and elderly relatives, trooped to the provincial capitol complex in Marawi City even hours ahead of the 9a.m. ceremonial distribution in obvious eagerness to reap even initial relief from war havocs, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) said.

In coordination with Social Welfare Sec. Rolando Bautista, Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Chairman Eduardo Del Rosario, Disaster Response Management Group Undersecretary Felicisimo Budiongan and NCMF Sec. Saidamen Pangarungan graced Saturday’s initial distribution of P73,000.00 cash aid and grocery packages worth 1,400-peso each to 678 families from Barangay Banggolo Poblacion.

Biometrics-based validation by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Banks (WB) showed that Banggolo Poblacion has 705 “severely” affected families, Datu Ramos said.

He said the remaining 27 families from Banggolo Poblacion, who failed to come Saturday, would receive their share either Sunday in time with the distribution of similar cash aids and packages to Barangay Bubong-a- Lilod Madaya with 623 “severely” displaced families.

Banggolo Poblacion and Bubung-a-Lilod Madaya are among the 24 barangays in Marawi’s most affected area (MAA) or “ground zero,” which has a total number of 15,677 “severely” affected families. Prior to the conduct of biometrics validation, local officials had reported at least 24,000 affected families in the MAA.

For the 15,677 validated families, the national government has allocated P313,540,000 Livelihood Settlement Grant (LSG) and P830,881,000 Transport Family Support Package (LFSP). Each family is earmarked with P20,000 LSG and P53,000 TFSP for a total P73,000, a TFBM document supplied by Datu Ramos showed.

Citing DSWD officials’ pronouncement, Datu Ramos said the distribution ceremonies will be done twice a week until all the target families shall have received the LSG and TFSP aids.

The scheduled series of “distribution came into fruition after the dialog brokered last March 18-19 (in Marawi City) by the NCMF between the IDPs and TFBM amid numerous complaints about TFBM’s alleged ‘broken promises and inaction’ (on Marawi rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts),” Datu Ramos said.

Officials of TFBM and its member-agencies had originally planned to disperse the P73,000 aid in kinds based on the needs of family beneficiaries, but lawyer Ramayana “Mayan” Saidamen-Basman pleaded in behalf of her fellow IDPs for the release of the amount in cash so that “recipient-families will have free choice for the use of the assistance,” he said.

Ali Macabalang

Ali Macabalang, Senior Correspondent of The Manila Bulletin, Tempo newspapers and various private and government media entities in different positions, one of very few Filipino Muslim scribes that newspapers readers may have noticed their bylines in various stories on different issues.