SOME 371 of the families affected by the September 7 fire incident in Poblacion village, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi can now start rebuilding their homes through the financial assistance given to them by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm) and the Provincial Government.

The Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) in Barmm said in a statement on Monday, September 18, that 371 of the affected families have received P23,000 financial assistance each through the MSSD's Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) program.

ESA is one of the MSSD's social protection programs under the Disaster Response and Management Division (DRMD) that focuses on rehabilitating and reconstructing the homes of indigent families affected by both natural and human-induced disasters.

Each of the 371 families have also received P29,000 financial aid from the Provincial Government of Tawi-Tawi.

Based on MSSD's assessment, approximately 1,000 families were displaced by the September 7 fire, most of them are staying at Salamat Elementary School and Tawi-Tawi School of Fisheries, while some are with their relatives.

On September 8, the MSSD Provincial Office immediately delivered relief assistance to the victims such as 10-kilo sacks of rice and canned goods to supplement their basic necessities.

On September 10, the victims were also given P2,000 emergency cash aid, 25-kilo sack of rice, canned goods, and 15-meter tarpaulin.

The following day, the MSSD dispatched additional supply of food and non-food items to the fire victims, which included 255 sets of hygiene, dignity, and sleeping kits, and 3,636 family food packs. (SunStar Zamboanga)