THE City Council of Davao unanimously approved the release of P5 million from its calamity fund to be given to Marawi City to help in its rebuilding.

"We have extra disaster funds which we can share with Marawi City. It is our duty as Dabawenyos to help our countrymen in Marawi. I encourage other LGUs to share from their own disaster funds. If we all give a little and put it all together, it can make a big difference," Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio said in pushing for the donation.

This is not the first time that the city has given a share of its calamity funds to other cities and municipalities needing help. In fact, this is the second donation to be given to Marawi, the first being a week after the siege started.

Now that the siege is over and residents are picking up the broken pieces of their homes to start anew, it is most timely for people to extend their help and beam some hope into what could be a most devastating site. This is the time when the Maranao people need help as it will be difficult to start anew when just about everything you owned has been turned to rubbles. As reported, 65 of Marawi's 96 barangays were damaged in the siege.

While there may be the desire to return home and salvage whatever can be salvaged from the ruins of the war, settling back in is not that easy and it will take months before any place in the area will be habitable. The residents will continue to need support, most especially for their basic needs.

Among others, the International Committee of the Red Cross stressed the need for access to health care and potable water.

"Together with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), the ICRC has set up 11 water distribution points to improve the supply to nine barangays in the west. Two generators have been donated to the Marawi City Water District, enabling it to supply around 62,000 people with 5 million litres of water per day," the ICRC reported.

But, there are underserved areas as it is described as the southern and western parts of Lake Lanao. A lot of work needs to be done and reaching out to the families during these most difficult times is the best that we all can do to ease the pain of loss and the uncertainty of starting from zero.

For those looking for other means to help, the Balsa Mindanao is going over for the third wave of International Interfaith Humanitarian Mission on November 15-17, 2017

Cash donations is being accepted via Bulig Alang sa Mindanao Inc. (Balsa Mindanao), BPI MacArthur Highway, Matina, Davao City branch Swift Code: bopiphmm with Peso Account Number: 2143-1734-21 and Dollar Account Number 2144-0087-42.

They are also accepting volunteers. Balsa can be contacted through balsamindanao@gmail.com

You can go the regular route and donate to the Philippine National Red Cross or check out civic organizations that are or will be holding similar activities. The call is to help in any way we can.