MANILA - The Department of Social Welfare Department (DSWD) on Thursday said it would provide cash assistance to families displaced by the fighting in Marawi City.
Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said the evacuees would receive aid as they marked Ramadan and again as soon as fighting between government troops and Islamist militants in the city end.
Displaced families, she said, would be given P1,000 to buy food for the observance of Ramadan as relief supplies from the government consist mainly of canned goods.
"Inaayos din po nating makipagbigay tayo ng cash assistance kasi Ramadan nga po... makabili sila ng prutas kasi nagbi-break sila ng fast. Iyung food items naman po natin ay sardinas, carne norte, parang hindi rin po bagay," Taguiwalo told radio DZMM.
"Upon the suggestion din po ng mga representatives natin from Lanao [del Sur], natingnan po natin, kaya po nating magbigay ng P1,000 per family po na nag-evacuate. Ayusin lang po ang distribution nito para matiyak ma-include ang nararapat," she said.
The evacuees, she said, would receive another tranche of cash assistance and temporary shelters when the gunfights, now going on for more than two weeks, cease.
Over 233,000 residents have fled since Maute and Abu Sayyaf extremists attacked on May 23, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao.
More than 200 have died in the fighting, among them 134 terrorists, 38 government troops and 30 civilians.
Taguiwalo said 90 percent of displaced families were staying with relatives, while about 10 percent were in evacuation centers. Over 30 families also fled to the Visayas islands.
The government has released P54 million worth of food and non-food items to the evacuees so far, the DSWD chief said.