100,000 Families Displaced By Mindanao Clash

Feb 15, 2003 12:04 PM EST

Philippines - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported Friday that over a hundred thousand families have been displaced by the ongoing combat between Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government forces in Mindanao, Philippines.

The DSWD National Operations Office said the displaced families are from 70 barangays of Pikit in North Cotabato and 14 towns in Central Mindanao and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Other areas affected of the current hostilities are Kabacan in North Cotabato; Lambayog and Columbio in Sultan Kudarat; Pagalungan, Pagagawan, Gen. S.K. Pendatun, Sultan Barongis, Paglat, Datu Paglas, and Bulusan in Maguindanao; and Indanan, Patikul, Talipao and Maimbong in Sulu.

Reports said some of the displaced families are now temporarily sheltered and being served in schools, hospitals, government buildings and other evacuation centers.

To date, the DSWD office said some P2.56 million of assistance has been extended to the evacuees. Of the amount, P1.1 million were DSWD funds, P1.02 million from local government units concerned and P500,000 from non-government organizations and other government agencies.

Military authorities ordered the closure of the road going to Columbio, Sultan Kudarat, from Datu Paglas, Maguindanao, as well as the Datu Paglas, Maguindanao, to Tulunan, North Cotabato, national highway, because of the aggressions.

As more families are expected to vacate their villages, the DSWD is now accepting donations for the displaced families in Mindanao.

Donors, according to DSWD, can call its National Operations Office and look for Elsie Clavano, Elma Pille, or Naty Manuel, at (632) 951-7438, 931-6141, 931-9133, or 931-8101 to 07, local 102 or 103.

By Y.Hilado, ChToday Philippines
[email protected]