Integrated Provincial Health Office - Maguindanao workers provide medicine to families displaced by armed hostilities in Maguindanao during relief operations Tuesday (March 26) in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao. (Photo courtesy of MSWO-Shariff Aguak)
SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao -- More than 1,500 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from various villages here and in nearby Shariff Saydona Mustapha town, have received aid from the government, a municipal social welfare officer said Tuesday.
Farouk Romancap, Shariff Aguak municipal social welfare officer, said the Ministry of Social Services in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MSS-BARMM) spearheaded the distribution of relief goods and provided basic services to residents displaced by armed hostilities in at least seven towns in the province.
More than 30,000 civilians have left their homes to safer grounds to avoid getting hit after hostilities between government forces and the local terror group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) erupted last March 11.
Affected are the towns of Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Mamasapano, Datu Salibo, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Datu Piang, Datu Anggal Midtimbang, and Shariff Aguak.
“Aside from giving aid to the affected families, the MSS-BARMM also conducted a medical mission to prevent highly communicable diseases in evacuation centers,” Romancap said.
He said relief workers also distributed mosquito nets as preventive measures against dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases.
Shariff Aguak Mayor Maroup Ampatuan also ordered the town social welfare office to conduct a feeding program to children, as well as adults.
“We have organized systems to ensure that IDPs get all that they deserve,” Romancap said, adding that the feeding is done on a daily basis.
The beneficiaries were from barangays Bagong, Lapok, Malingao, Bialong of Shariff Aguak municipality and barangays Pikeg and Pamalian of Shariff Saydona Mustapha town.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development 12 (Soccsksargen) also extended aid that included six kg. of rice and eight canned goods per pack to each affected family.
“We are glad the government is attending to our needs. Life here is hard with extreme heat due to the weak El Niño and lack of water,” Amira Sabay, one of the IDPs, said as she hauled the relief goods to her temporary shelter in Barangay Bagong, Shariff Aguak.