​DILG: Gov’t addressing needs of 70,000 evacuees from Marawi City

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today said that the government is carrying out measures to address the needs of around 70,000 people who have fled from Marawi City towards the adjacent provinces of Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte, following the attack of the Maute group on May 23.

In a report to DILG Officer-in-Charge Catalino S. Cuy, DILG Northern Mindanao Regional Director Arnel M. Agabe said there are 36,423 evacuees in Lanao del Norte, 25,506 in Iligan City, 4,761 in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City, 1,320 in Bukidnon, 1,652 in Misamis Oriental, and 109 in Misamis Occidental.

In Iligan City, which is almost 38 kilometers proximate to Marawi, the Regional Command Coordinating Center (RCCC) at Barangay Tomas Cabili Multi-Purpose Gymnasium has been established in profiling of evacuees, monitor and coordinate relief efforts, and ensure the welfare of the evacuees. The RCCC is spearheaded by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).

Moreover, Agabe assured that there is sufficient supply of food and non-food items for evacuees in Lanao del Norte due to inflow of donation and support from other areas.

“IDPs have been revalidated to avoid duplication. They are registered at Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices (MSWDOs) such as in Pantar and Baloi in Lanao del Norte since some would opt to stay with relatives,” he said.

He also reported that DILG-Iligan City, as in-charge of the Management of the Dead and Missing (MDM) Cluster, has coordinated with its counterparts from DILG-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and DILG-Lanao del Sur for the retrieval and identification of the dead bodies.

According to Agabe, peace and order councils (POCs) at all levels in Region 10 have already met and came up with contingency measures in response to the crisis.

“We are focusing on strengthening security measures to avert spill overs on the Marawi seige and on monitoring the movements of the Local Terrorist Groups (LTGs),” he said.

As part of the security measures, LGUs have already activated force multipliers such as tanods and Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams (BPATs) for gathering of information and law enforcement activities to include observance of curfews.

He also mentioned that the RPOC passed resolutions to enlist or hire Special Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) Active Auxiliary or SCAA to augment the existing safe-keeping force.

Furthermore, local chief executives (LCEs), RPOC and Regional Development Council (RDC) member-agencies discussed strategies to further strengthen security measures and peacekeeping efforts in the region during the Joint RDC-RPOC Executive Committee Meeting held on June 5. Provincial governors and city mayors also pledged financial donations from their respective LGUs for the ongoing relief efforts to assist the ongoing number of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Further, the LGU of CDO conducted meetings with the security officers of hotels, restaurants, malls, and subdivisions as well as security agency representatives.

“Uniform protocols were determined to establish a message that CDO City calls for solidarity and compassion amidst the Marawi crisis,” he related.

“Aside from safety, we recognize the concerns of evacuees particularly the education of children refugees. Tourism and business community also suffers when peace and order is disrupted. Hotels and travel agencies are reporting that they are losing millions worth of bookings,” added Agabe.