THE Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) is providing on Wednesday, May 23, various assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in evacuation centers to mark the first year of the Marawi siege.
There are still 2,190 evacuees in 18 evacuation centers in Marawi City and in the neighboring town of Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur.
Norkhalila Mambuay-Campong, chief-of-staff of the Armm, said each department and line agency in the region has adopted an evacuation center for the community iftar (meal to break the fast).
There will be also free medical checkups, Operations Plant (Oplan) Balik Eskwela, and launching of the book that compiles Marawi City stories.
"This is part of the constant efforts of the regional government to accommodate the needs of the people of Marawi," Campong said.
Exactly a year after fighting and destruction started, the government remains busy helping the people of Marawi to rebuild and return to their home.
Armm has earmarked P150 million for the rehabilitation program of Marawi City.
The regional government has already provided series of medical and psycho-social services, relief distribution, livelihood training and assistance, peace advocacy, dialogue, and consultation, among others.
Armm's Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) offered skills training, while the Social Welfare Department implemented sustainable livelihood program. The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) is supporting the local cooperatives.
The Armm government also granted assistance to IDPs who are most affected by the siege. These evacuees are currently staying in Cotabato City for a month to take part in this year's Ramadan Fair with P45,000 financial support for each qualified beneficiary.
Armm Governor Mujiv Hataman said the regional government strives to rebuild the foundations of local leadership and reestablish safe spaces for the most vulnerable groups in the communities.
"Marawi will rise again, and it will rise with the renewed strength and courage of our people," Hataman added. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)