MANILA- Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has issued a "special order"allowing senators to provide assistance to those displaced by the ongoing conflict in Marawi City beyond the 5 percent limit under Senate rules.
“The war against terrorism is not just won with bullets and bombs. It is won by the unity of the people, and through this measure, I hope to show our displaced brothers and sisters that they are not forgotten”, Pimentel said in a press release Saturday.
Section III, Item 17.1 of Memorandum Circular 2016-002 states that the Senate President may grant exemption to the limitation of 5 percent for Welfare Assistance expenses from the budget of each Senator’s office.
More than 200,000 residents have been displaced by clashes between government forces and Maute terrorists that erupted on May 23.
As of 6 p.m. Thursday, government placed the death toll in Marawi City at 375, among them 280 terror suspects, 69 government troops and 26 civilians.
Pimentel explained that with thousands left displaced by the crisis in Marawi and with Ramadan about to end, food needs of evacuees are expected to increase as Muslims traditionally celebrate the occasion with feasts.
“Let’s join our Muslim brethren in celebrating Eid al-Fitr with prayers for peace and giving them help in their hour of need,” said the Senate leader, a native of Cagayan de Oro City.
Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, is an important religious holiday where Muslims break their month-long fast and feast with their families. This year's Eid al-Fitr falls on Monday, June 26.