• Govt vows aid to Mindanao evacuees

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    The government will continue to provide assistance to communities displaced by the recent military campaign in central Mindanao with the help of other organizations, a Palace official said.

    People affected by the fighting asked the government to stop the military offensive against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters so they could go back to their homes. They also asked for additional humanitarian assistance.

    “Tutugon naman po tayo doon sa mga assistance na kailangan nila, hindi lang doon sa ‘pag provide ng pagkain sa mga kababayan nating nasa loob ng evacuation centers, at siyempre ang mga attendant services na rin diyan, katulad ng medical services at kung ano pang mga kailangan (We will give them assistance, not only by providing food to those who are in evacuation centers),” Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview Saturday.

    People displaced by the conflict can also undergo counseling in coordination with the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the provincial disaster risk management council and municipal governments, Valte said.

    The Department of Health has conducted medical missions and is providing prepositioned supplies, hygiene kits and other essential medicines to affected communities, she said.

    Health officials are also doing blood sugar screening and giving vaccinations against pneumonia. They also conduct medical consultations in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Valte said.

    Most of the 56,000 people displaced by the fighting are staying in 44 evacuation centers, Valte said. She said the government has also been assisting 8,500 displaced residents who chose not to stay in evacuation centers.

    PNA

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