As part of its ongoing efforts to aid the victims of a recent fire incident in Brgy. Poblacion, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) conducted a mass distribution of financial assistance to affected families from September 10 to 14, 2023.
In the immediate aftermath of the fire, MSSD provided Php 2,000 to each of the 678 affected families as immediate cash assistance to address their urgent needs.
On September 12, MSSD distributed emergency shelter assistance to 371 households impacted by the fire. Each family received Php 23,000 worth of emergency shelter assistance to aid in the recovery and repair of their damaged homes.
Sharmina Julkarnain, MSSD BARMM Tawi-Tawi Project Development Officer, explained, “The Php 2,000 will assist them in purchasing their immediate necessities, while the Php 23,000 is earmarked for the reconstruction and restoration of their homes that were affected by the fire.”
“We aim to reach approximately 1,000 fire-affected families. We will continue to address their needs through coordination with government agencies and collaboration with the Red Cross,” Julkarnain added.
Simultaneously, MSSD also distributed sacks of rice and essential non-food items to the displaced victims, including hygiene kits, dignity kits, and sleeping kits.
Most affected families sought temporary refuge at Salamat Elementary School and Tawi-Tawi School of Fisheries, while others stayed with their relatives.
Several agencies provided logistical and transport support, workforce, meals, welfare goods, and security during the relief efforts. These agencies include the Department of Social Services and Development (DSWD) Field Office IX, Ministry of Public Works, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Marines, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime Police, Philippine Navy, and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), as well as provincial, municipal, and barangay local government units.
Members of Parliament, Atty. Suharto Ambolodto augmented the workforce through the Philippine Navy Reservists and Atty. Jet Lim contributed additional cash assistance to support the affected families.
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