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PIA Press Release

Coordinate with LGUs on relief operations, AFP appeals to NGOs

by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

Cagayan de Oro City (29 August) -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines has appealed to the non-government organizations to make sure that the relief items they are distributing will really reach their intended beneficiaries.

This appeal was sounded by Capt. Alonto Maamo, S7 of 104 Bde, Philippine Army, who suggested that these NGO's should coordinate with the officials of local government units so their help will not go to the wrong persons.

"The AFP believes the LGU's are in the best position to know who among their constituents really need help," he said during a press briefing at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Office in Iligan City.

Maamo's appeal was prompted with their findings that some of the evacuation centers reportedly where these NGO's have distributed their relief items were really non-existent and at times located very far from population centers.

"You will be surprised to know that in those places where they distributed their relief items, only children and women were present and none of their menfolk," he said.

Meanwhile, three (3) evacuation centers which were among those established immediately after the Aug. 18, 2008 attack by the lawless elements of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Kolambugan and Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte (LDN) have been cleared of evacuees who have returned to their respective homes, as of press time.

These centers are the Linamon Central School, Samburon Elementary School and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Academy, all of Linamon town, next to Kauswagan.

Lawyer Aracelli Solamillo, Regional Director of the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), region 10, said a total of Php1.945 million have been released by their office for the food and non-food items, such as, paper plates, tents, mosquito nets of the evacuees, as of Aug. 26, 2008.

She said DSWD-10 have been coordinating with the provincial and municipal SWDO's for monitoring and validation of evacuees who are still staying with relatives in Misamis Occidental towns who have not yet returned to their houses, to determine their needs.

Moreover, a continuing on-site assessment and monitoring of the situation at the different evacuation centers in LDN is done to decongest the evacuation centers relative to emergent public health concerns, Solamillo said. (PIA 10) [top]

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