COTABATO CITY: The Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) has allowed the transport of relief goods on Wednesday to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ditsaan Ramain, Lanao del Sur, the nearest municipality to Marawi City affected by hostilities.
Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay, spokesman for Joint Task Force Marawi, said WestMinCom chief, Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. gave the green light to the transport of the relief goods.
Nine truckloads of goods that were transported by personnel of Lanao del Sur Social Welfare and Development Office and Task Group Ranao troops led by Brig. Gen. Ramiro Rey and the 103rd Brigade led by Col. Gene Ponio for about 2, 772 IDPs in Ditsaan Ramain.
Each family received a half-sack of rice, canned goods and other commodities through the United Nations’ World Food Program.
Abedin Bala Maunte, 37, married with four kids, whose children are temporarily attending school near Ramain, said, “We want to thank the government and those who extended their assistance amid the gun battle between the military and the terrorists.”
Before the terrorists attack on May 23, Maunte and his family lived in Sitio Lilod, Barangay Saduc in Marawi where he works as a welder. They are among the thousand families temporarily sheltered in Barangay Buada Babay in Ditsaan Ramain.
“We are happy with the help we are receiving from the government and the people, however, we are calling on the President as we need more assistance in terms of money, food and clothes to sustain our living,” Caironisa Saro, 26, married to a farmer with six children, said.
Municipal planning and development coordinator of Ditsaan Ramain Mustapha Salic, said it was the fourth set of relief goods distributed by the government to the evacuees. The evacuees were earlier given kitchen utensils, food packs and hygiene kits from various donors.
Ramain Mayor Saidamen Amer Adiong also expressed his gratitude for the help and commended the Armed Forces for allowing the fishermen from 14 barangay (villages) to continue fishing on Lanao Lake to earn a living.
JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL