Gov't looks into plight of evacuees
By Pops H. Gumana
Midsayap, North Cotabato (August 13) -- Amidst fears of a burgeoning number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) here in the province following the law enforcement operations conducted by elements of the PNP and the military against renegade members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that spread havoc in civilian communities, the Provincial Disaster and Coordinating Council (PDCC) here clarified that the government remains on top of the situation as tensions in the area started to recede.
PDCC Action Officer Vergelita D. Guilaran said the number of affected families reduce from 20,000 to almost 17,000 as of last night since the situation gets better now compared with the past few days.
There is a big decrease since some of the IDPs we listed earlier went back to their respective homes as peace and order situation in some barangays started to normalize. Another reason was when we validated the list we’ve found out that some of the names were submitted to us twice, she said.
Based on the data gathered from the PDCC/RDCC Sub-operation Center here, there are 16, 922 affected families as of 10:30 pm last night. However, out of the said number only 3, 589 are in the different designated evacuation centers; 6, 895 were validated as outside the evacuation centers or those who are staying in the houses of relatives or friends in the province; while the remaining 6, 439 are at risk families meaning either they have not move out of their homes or they have left the province for safety reasons.
Moreover, the 16, 992 numbers of affected families came from the 6 municipalities of North Cotabato namely: Aleosan, Midsayap, Pikit, Libungan, Tulunan, and Pigcawayan, with 53 identified barangays affected by the hostilities.
Of the 53 barangays, 6 are in the municipality of Aleosan with 1, 152 families affected. 10 barangays in Midsayap with 2, 115 affected families; 17 barangays in Pikit with 5, 366 affected families; 3 in Libungan with 462 affected families; 12 in Tulunan with 7, 341 affected families; and in Pigcawayan with 5 barangays and 486 families affected.
Meanwhile, Guilaran said massive relief operations are being conducted in the different evacuation centers to augment the needs of the IDPs as well as address other problems.
The situation is under control as support and assistance continue to pour in from the different agencies of the government as well as from other non-government organizations.
The Provincial Local Government Units here donated some 455 bags of rice; another 300 bags from the DSWD; and 245 more bags of rice were donated by the OCD. Aside from food assistance, we have received donations from other concerned individuals such as tarpaulins for temporary shelter, medicines and other goods for distributions to the IDPs, she said. (PIA-12) [top]