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PIA Press Release

Evacuees engage in communal cooking

Datu Piang, Maguindanao (14 November) -- Evacuees who currently occupy bunkhouses provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DSWD-ARMM) will now be engaging in communal cooking as the agency launches its "Community Kitchen" program. ]

"The program is intended to let these evacuees make the most of what little food they have as well as forge stronger community ties," says DSWD-ARMM Sec. Sorayda Biruar.

A bunkhouse is divided into 32 sections with each section occupied by a single family. Under the community kitchen program, the families occupying a particular bunkhouse will prepare their meals together. The DSWD-ARMM will provide a subsidy of P100 per day for every family for a period of one week.

The agency believes that communal activities will ease the burden and trauma of the ongoing war to internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Elsie Amil, provincial director of DSWD-Maguindanao, said they "hope to help displaced individuals endure the war" through these interventions.

The program has been officially introduced November 11, 2008 in bunkhouses located in different evacuation areas in the towns of Maguindanao.

A total of 25 bunkhouses 10 in Datu Piang, 4 in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, 3 in Mamasapano, 2 in Shariff Aguak, 2 in Guindulungan, 2 in Talayan and two in Datu Anggal- have been put up by the agency to try to accommodate evacuees who have been forced to occupy classrooms.

Classes have been indefinitely cancelled in some schools that served as evacuation centers when the ongoing conflict erupted about three months ago. "We hope classes can resume now that the evacuees have been transferred to these bunkhouses," Biruar said. (bpi-armm/PIA 12) [top]

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