By Antonet Go
ZAMBOANGA CITY, (PNA) -– The government, both the national and local, as well as the non-government organizations are pooling resources to alleviate the plight of the thousands of evacuees affected by the standoff here.
DSWD Sec. Corazon Soliman said the agency with the support of the local government unit and NGOs have already spent a total of P37.8 million for relief operations since the first day of the standoff until Friday.
The standoff started last September 9 when hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front rebels infiltrated this city through the shores of Barangay Rio Hondo and other nearby barangays.
Soliman said P35.4 million came from the agency while P1.38 million from NGOs and P1 million from the local government.
Aside from food, Soliman said the evacuees are also provided with psychosocial care and health care services.
She said that the national government has enough fund to provide the necessary assistance to the affected families by the standoff that started last September 9.
DSWD records showed that there are a total of 23,794 families consisting of 118,819 individuals are presently housed in 56 evacuation centers.
The Philippine Red Cross with the support from the International Committee of the Red Cross has also distributed eight trucks of non-food items.
These include 45,000 plates, forks and spoons as well as pails and 18,000 towels and tents to the evacuees at the sports complex.