DTI urged to give aid to Marawi evacuees

AN OFFICIAL of the Tourism Congress Philippines (TCP) Halal Committee is urging the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to help support the evacuees of Marawi City through its Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) program.

MSMEs program of DTI promotes, supports, and strengthens the growth of enterprises in partnership with the private sector through giving of capital subsidy.

Halal Committee chair Marilou Ampuan, in an interview, said shelter and food is less of a problem for the evacuees now as both are already provided by the national and local governments.

"As the president of the Universal Islamic Center, almost all of the evacuees who went to my office seeking for assistance said they want to revive their livelihood back," Ampuan said.

The current state of Marawi, however, is still not livable for the evacuees. She said the evacuees, specifically the Maranaos, need more than the basic necessities to sustain their lives.

Some of the evacuees have businesses that were stopped upon the start of the war in Marawi City and it is difficult for them to continue it in other places as it would need a bigger capital, Ampuan said.

"Maranaos are merchants since in the early years which make it difficult for them not to sell their goods. They will always find ways to sell goods," she said.

Local Maranao delicacies are one of the products that can be easily sold in the market.

Even a small capital subsidy, she added, would be a great help to support the revival of Maranaos' livelihood amid the ongoing war in Marawi City.

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