THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Northern Mindanao Region warns evacuees from Marawi City, Lanao del Sur that relief goods would stop coming at their doors if found that they are selling it anyway.
“They can be delisted as recipients of help,” said DSWD-Northern Mindanao director Nestor Ramos in a statement.
Ramos said reports are circulating that both evacuees staying in evacuation centers or "home-based" have been selling goods provided by the DSWD.
"We understand that they are in need of money, that is why they are selling the relief goods, but we also have to realize that based on our guidelines, selling these relief goods is prohibited. These goods serve as their daily consumption," Ramos said.
Ramos said he is also aware of the calls that the evacuees are 'getting sick' of the canned goods given to them, even as he assured that this concern is already being addressed.
"We have received these complaints, and we have laid this down in our cluster meetings for possible extension of other variety of foods,” Ramos said.
“We are constantly informing our donors to also donate other variety of foods for our IDPs, and so far many of our donors have already sent out chicken, dried fish, and beans, and with that we appreciate this. We are continuously coordinating with these organizations to send more variety of foods,” he added.
Ramos also pointed out that the DSWD has been addressing the evacuees' monetary need, citing that this is why they have created the Cash-For-Work program, being implemented in evacuation centers and in home-based areas.
He said they are giving out P200 each day for 10 days to the IDPs in exchange of the work they rendered, such as cleaning the evacuation centers, dredging canals and cleaning areas, among others.
Also, the DSWD is also providing transportation allowance for families who want to go back to their homes.
"All they need to do is sign up with our camp managers assigned in the evacuation centers or in home-based areas. And for the free transportation, they can talk with their camp managers to avail such," he said.
According to Ramos, the DSWD and other government agencies and offices meet on a daily basis to discuss issues and concerns that are being raised by the IDPs. These meetings are considered as venues wherein actions are being planned out so that the IDPs’ needs are properly addressed and their complaints are heard.
The regional director also urged IDPs to "constantly talk" with their camp managers on their needs to make sure these concerns will get to the right ears and be addressed.
"These camp managers are the ones who are reporting to us what the IDPs need, so it is best that the IDPs talk with them," he added.
To date, the total number of IDPs served in the region is at 55,646 families or 235,979 persons. There are currently 35 evacuation centers in the region housing 2,801 families or 13,149 persons, while the number of home-based families served remains at 52,845 or 222,830 persons.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 02, 2017.