ARMM renews call for Marawi evacuees to register for relief, rehab programs

Cotabato City The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is reiterating its call for evacuees to register using the Disaster Assistance and Family Access Card (DAFAC), which is issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“The evacuees should be registered, to have access to services and resources we are providing,” ARMM Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia said. As of 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 22, a total of 40,753 families, or 193,952 individuals, have been displaced since the clashes in Marawi City started a month ago.

The delivery of services to displaced families has become harder in recent days as many Marawi residents did not register with DSWD as evacuees, especially those who are staying at their relatives’ houses in neighboring towns and cities. Only 970 families, or 4,691 individuals, are in designated evacuation centers, while 39,783 families, or 189,261 individuals, are home-based.

The regional government has utilized the DAFAC system to ensure equal and timely distribution of relief packs for the evacuees. The system is applied by the DSWD-ARMM to validate the status of families affected by the crisis, which will serve as a reference in the provision of appropriate interventions.

The DAFAC, Sec. Alamia noted, will also be used in future rehabilitation and recovery programs for Marawi City. She said some evacuees went to Northern Mindanao (Region 10), Socsksargen (Region 12), and Davao (Region 11); while some have gone to as far as Visayas and Luzon.

“They could go to their municipal, or city, social welfare officer to register using DAFAC so that the city government of Marawi will be able to monitor its residents, especially when rehabilitation starts,” Sec. Alamia added. The regional government has already spent roughly P35 million in urgent assistance to victims of the Marawi crisis.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said the aid is aimed at meeting the growing humanitarian needs of communities struggling with the current situation. Marawi is one of only two cities in the ARMM. The governor said current funds from the regional government can still respond to the needs of the evacuees noting the government has so far allocated about P77 million for the victims of the crisis.

Latest update from the ARMM’s crisis management committee showed the regional government served relief packs to 197,232 evacuees and provided medical services to 5,284 individuals. An operation center has also been set up in Malabang town in Lanao del Sur, and in Iligan City in Lanao del Norte to coordinate and manage the region’s response to the ongoing crisis in Marawi City.

The ARMM crisis management committee has been active since May 24 in gathering information as well as in assessing and monitoring the situation on the ground to help keep track of the needs of the affected families. Information gathered and verified help the committee in decision making, in planning actions, and in taking steps to continually ease the plight of evacuees, stranded individuals, and missing Marawi residents. (Bureau of Public Information)