A FOUNDATION jointly created by the top officials of the Senate and House of Representatives distributed care packages to displaced families of Marawi City now taking shelter in the tent cities on Wednesday, August 16, in Pantar and Balo-I towns, Lanao del Norte.
The distribution of the packages by the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan Cares Foundation (PDP-Laban Cares) and the office of Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III was led by Kathryn Yu and Jennifer Maliwanag, the romantic partners of the op officials of the Senate and the House of Representatives, respectively.
The relief package contained rice, canned goods, toiletries, hygiene kits, bottled water and blankets.
Aside from bringing goods to the evacuees, the PDP-Laban Cares was able to observe and hear the concerns and needs of the evacuees that needs to be addressed.
The PDP-Laban Cares, which was launched on Monday, August 14, is the non-political wing of the party jointly created by Pimentel and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Kathryn Yu, chairperson of PDP-Laban Cares and Pimentel's girlfriend, said the foundation was created to address the needs of the victims of natural and man-made calamities.
"It was created so that everytime na there is a calamity in the country kami ang part ng PDP-Laban na tutugon sa tulong para sa mga nasalanta ng kung ano mang kalamidad o krisis sa buong Pilipinas," Yu said.
Yu said the foundation's fund came from the party members, private organizations, friends, donors and other partners.
Yu added that their visit at the tent cities have opened their eyes to the poor and inadequate living condition of the evacuees.
"Happy kami na napuntahan namin yung tent cities at least nakita namin yung pangangailangan at yung living condition nila kasi sa tingin namin di yun tatagal sa init at conducive siya sa sickness lalo na mga bata at matatanda," Yu said.
After their visit, Yu said they would set a meeting with the Department of Health to discuss and find solutions to the health concerns of evacuees.
The foundation's head also said they would tap the energy department in addressing the problem on electricity as requested by the officials of Pantar.
Fatimah Mindalano, one of the evacuees of Pantar, said they are thankful to all government and private groups who have been conducting relief operations but she said what they primarily need is money.
Mindalano said they need cash and capital to start a small businesses so they can stand on their own feet without relying much on relief efforts.
"Nagpapasalamat kami kay Senator Pimentel at sa lahat ng relief na nakaabot sa amin pero ang kailangan talaga namin ay pera dahil gusto namin tumayo sa sarili naming paa dahil di sa lahat ng oras aasa kami sa relief goods. Gusto namin ng pera para makapag-negosyo," Mindalano said.
Yu said the said concern has already reached their attention as she said the group would eventually launch a sustainable livelihood project for the evacuees.
"Yung sa livelihood we will address that kasi priority now is immediate relief eventually magbibigay tayo ng project for livelihood para sustainable ang kita nila," Yu said.