ILIGAN CITY: The Philippine Army through its 55th Engineer Brigade (55EB) assists the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in transporting sari-sari store kits comprising the grocery packs from the DTI hub in Iligan to Marawi, military said.
Major Alfie Cabael, 55EB civil-military operations officer, said the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) has requested for human resource and equipment assistance to transport grocery packs which the DTI will distribute to Marawi siege displaced persons as part of its interventions for Marawi rehabilitation.
More than 8,000 sets of grocery boxes will be transported from a warehouse in Sta. Filomena, Iligan City to Luksadatu in Marawi City where the distribution of livelihood starter kits is ongoing.
Cabael said such assistance emphasizes the brigade commitment to support TFBM in bringing aid to Marawi IDPs.
“Do not worry because the Army engineers are always here. We are committed to providing what we can such as human resource and equipment assistance,” said Cabael.
As of Monday, the 55EB has transported 2,376 boxes of grocery items.
Headquartered in Baloi, Lanao del Norte, the 55th Enginerr Bde has been activated to help speed up the rehabilitation works for Marawi City. It is tasked to assist the TFBM in horizontal projects such as road widening, building construction, schools, drainage, public health centers, and other government facilities.
In Marawi, Butch Hadjizaman, DTI distribution team leader in Luksadatu, said they are targeting around 150 recipients per day.
He also assured the IDPs that they will receive assistance from DTI provided that they were listed through Kathanor (a profiling of IDPs spearheaded by TFBM) and have not received any assistance from their agency.
DTI is the lead agency of TFBM’s Subcommittee on Business and Livelihood.
“To the IDPs of Marawi, do not worry because all those who have not received and have been profiled through Kathanor, will receive such assistance from DTI. The purpose of DTI is to provide those who have not yet received assistance provided that there are no duplications,” said Hadjizaman.
Naira Pangcoga and Alaiza Sambitory are among the IDPs who received sari-sari store starter kits on May 15.
Each starter kit contains various detergents, fabric conditioners, bath soaps, shampoo, toothpaste, sanitary pads, canned goods, noodles, crackers and chips, and school supplies, among others.
Sambitory is happy and thankful to DTI. “Kung may tinda ka na maliit sa bahay, makakadagdag sa kita,” she said. [If you have a sari-sari store, it will augment your income.]
Pangcoga, on the other hand, expressed gratitude to DTI saying the income that she will earn from the sari-sari store will help sustain their daily living needs.
MASIDING NOOR YAHYA