ARMM-HEART, DSWD-ARMM provide El Nino relief assistance in South Upi
Cotabato City (April 29, 2016) – All 13,984 families in the municipality of South Upi, Maguindanao have now received El Nino relief assistance from the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, through the ARMM Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (ARMM-HEART), and the regional Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-ARMM).
The most recent relief operation was done on Thursday, April 28, for at least 1,295 families residing in Brgy. Romunggaob, South Upi.
The said operation was headed by ARMM-HEART and DSWD-ARMM, together with Robin Padilla of the All for Peace Movement and Cong. Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman of the Anak Mindanao (AMIN) partylist.
Members of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) were also present in the event.
“The people need rice, and it’s sad that in places like Kidapawan, people still have to go down the mountains, they still need to protest,” Padilla said during the short program prior to relief distribution.
“There is no need to resort to violence so that your voices will be heard. Let us choose to hold onto the peace we have gained and let us help each other. Together with the regional government, we are ready to help,” he added.
Celine Urangkaya, 24, was one of the first residents to receive a relief pack. Her husband is a farmer, and she says harvest has been scarce, if there’s any at all.
“It’s been a difficult time,” Urangkaya said, referring to the El Nino season. “Sometimes we only get to eat at night, sometimes we make do with not eating at all. If we can’t find cassava to eat, then we don’t eat. We’ll sleep intead.”
Her community has felt the effects of El Nino since January, she said, and she is thankful for the relief assistance from the regional government.
The regional government will continue providing relief to provinces affected by El Nino, with another relief operation scheduled next week in Lanao del Sur. (Bureau of Public Information)