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Strict monitoring of evacuation centers

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo has ordered its regional directors to monitor more closely the situation of Filipinos taking refuge in evacuation centers due to natural and man-made crisis, following the death of a two-year-old Manobo boy inside an evacuation camp in Bukidnon.

Taguiwalo said all field offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) should find means to assist refugees in whatever they can, and coordinate with other government agencies to improve their service.

The DSWD chief expressed sympathy over the death of Charwin Amas who suffered diarrhea before falling ill from pneumonia inside an evacuation center in Malaybalay City in Bukidnon.

Amas is among the 150 Lumads who was forced to leave their community when they were attacked by paramilitary forces last month.

Aside from Amas, the DSWD reported that 13 other children have also become sick, as well as 17 women, five of whom are pregnant, inside the evacuation camp.

“The DSWD-Field Office 10 will assist the family by providing burial assistance for Charwin. We are also now coordinating with health authorities on how to help the other children and the women who have also fallen ill,” Taguiwalo said.

She also pointed out that all displaced Lumads should be given the assistance they need so they can return safely to their communities and restore their traditional way of life. (Ellalyn de Vera)