By ELLALYN DE VERA-RUIZ
At least 5,000 families who have returned to their homes in war-torn Marawi have received assistance worth almost P60 million from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
According to DSWD Region 12 (Soccsksargen) Director Bai Zorahayda Taha, the families awarded were part of the first batch of returning residents of the city’s 9 barangays, namely Basak Malutlut, Marawi Poblacion, East Basak, Luksa Datu, Tampilong, Matampay, Datu Saber, Green, and Panggao Saduc.
The DSWD said it has so far spent a total of P59,245,862 in financial assistance to returning Marawi residents, including food packs, among others.
Taha said more barangays are scheduled to receive help from the agency, including Bacod Chico, Lumbac Toros, Tuca, Toros, Pindolonan, Dayawan, Amito Marantao, Poona Marantao, Fort, and Bangun.
The food pack DSWD distributed contains a sack of rice, 24 canned goods, 40 sachets of coffee, and two kilos of pancit bihon.
The DSWD also distributed hygiene kits worth P1,825 for the returning families, which included a bucket, toothbrush, toothpaste, bath soap, laundry soap, sanitary napkins, comb, shaving razor, and nail cutter.
They also gave away kitchen kits, which contain five sets each of spoon, fork, glasses and plates, as well as a frying pan, a cooking pan, and a ladle.
Based on data provided by the DSWD, a total of 77,170 families composed of 353,636 individuals evacuated from Marawi following the siege.
The displaced were mostly evacuated to Region 10 (38,949 families), the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (33,221 families), and Region 12 (2,386 families). Some families were brought to Region 11, Caraga, and Region 7.
As of Nov. 16, a total of 4,668 Marawi families or 20,639 individuals are still in evacuation centers, while 75,502 families are living with relatives.