By Edwin Fernandez
DATU PAGLAS, Maguindanao: The Ministry of Social Services and Development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MSSD-BARMM) assured it will continue to provide aid to some 100 displaced families from this town.
The evacuees, all Maguindanaons, fled their homes during Eid’l Fitr (feast of breaking the fast) when the military intensified its offensives against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) after the extremists occupied on May 8 the town’s public market.
The evacuees from here are now staying at the Mahad Mamalangcap evacuation center and covered court in nearby Barangay Dungguan, M’lang, North Cotabato.
MSSD Minister Raissa Jajurie said Wednesday they visited the temporary shelter area and handed over food supplies, sleeping kits, and hygiene supplies to each of the families.
On top of the distribution of relief assistance, Jajurie said the BARMM is organizing a Peace and Security Summit for Sustainable Local Development to identify more coherent strategies and areas for cooperation between the BARMM and other development partners to address displacements and sustain development.
“The MSSD [and the entire Bangsamoro government] is committed to supporting you during these most trying times wherein you [evacuees] had to leave your homes,” said Jajurie during the dispersal program on Tuesday.
The clashes between government forces and BIFF started early morning of May 8 when the militants occupied the town market center here, forcing some 2,000 civilians to flee.
Jajurie said BARMM MSSD has been working with the local disaster risk reduction and management offices of the municipalities of Datu Paglas, Paglat, Buluan, and Pandag where some civilians were also forced to evacuate.
She said her office will keep an eye on the evacuees to ensure their safety and will provide additional food rations if necessary after the two-week period.
Philippine News Agency