COTABATO CITY—Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) provided assistance on Saturday, May 15, to 100 displaced families in the Municipality of Datu Paglas in Maguindanao who have been affected by the recent armed conflict.
The evacuees fled their homes during Eid’l Fit’r (feast of breaking the fast) and are now staying at the Mahad Mamalangcap evacuation center and covered court in Barangay Dungoan, M’lang, North Cotabato as a temporary shelter.
MSSD Minister Atty. Raissa Jajurie personally handed 25 kilos of rice, sleeping kits, and hygiene kits to each of the families, with the assistance of the local government of M’lang through its Municipal Social Welfare and Development’s Office.
Jajurie said the Bangsamoro Government is organizing a Peace and Security Summit for Sustainable Local Development to identify more coherent strategies and areas for cooperation between the Bangsamoro Government and other development partners towards durable solutions to displacement and sustainable 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.
The clash between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) began on May 8, 2021, in Barangay Poblacion in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao, resulting in the displacement of nearly 2,000 families.
Furthermore, it was reported that as the military pursues elements of the BIFF, the number of displaced families will continue to rise.
Following rapid field evaluations, the Ministry also provided life-saving assistance to the injured individuals and families, as well as financial assistance to the families who are seriously affected, including those whose wrecked houses during the war.
“Addressing the life-saving needs, ensuring investments addressing the systemic causes of conflict and vulnerability, and supporting the peace initiatives are essential for development to be sustainable,” Jajurie stressed.
MSSD has been working with the local disaster risk reduction and management offices of the Municipality of Datu Paglas, Paglat, Buluan, and Pandag’s Local Government Units.
In addition, the Ministry will keep an eye on the evacuees to ensure their safety and will provide additional food rations if necessary after the two-week period. (Bangsamoro Information Office)