THE Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm), headed by interim Chief Minister Ebrahim Murad, spearheaded Tuesday, January 21, the send-off of a humanitarian team to distribute relief aid to families displaced by the eruption of Taal volcano in Batangas.
The team, dubbed as "Tabang for Taal from Bangsamoro," is composed of some members of the Barmm-Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence (Readi) and some "Bantay Tulay" volunteers who are former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants.
The team departed Cotabato City on Tuesday and is expected to arrive in Manila on Friday, January 24.
The relief assistance includes 1,500 packs, each containing 10 kilos of rice, canned goods, coffee, malong, hijab, prayer mats, blue water jug, medicines, and a hygiene kit.
Murad said a portion of the relief assistance will be delivered directly by the team to the 130 Muslim families affected by the volcano eruption.
Murad also stressed that the Bangsamoro Government is "helping not only those Muslim IDPs (internally displaced persons), but also the entire affected communities."
He said 1,000 of the relief packs will be turned over to the incident command post of the Batangas Provincial Government.
Meanwhile, Barmm spokesperson Naguib Sinarimbo said "the Muslim constituents specifically requested assistance from us, because some o their needs are not addressed because of the peculiarity of these needs of these communities."
"Our staff from the Barmm-Readi are already in touch with their counterparts in Batangas," Sinarimbo said.
Sinarimbo is expected to join the team on Friday, January 24.
Taal volcano started to spew ashes on Sunday, January 12, prompting the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology to increase its alert status to Level 2 in the afternoon and Level 4 in the evening. (SunStar Zamboanga)