DSWD-12 sends 6,400 more food packs to Zamboanga

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, (PNA) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12 has sent an additional 6,400 family food packs to Zamboanga City to augment the relief operations for families who were affected by the ongoing conflict in the area.

Roevi Mendoza, staff member of the DSWD-12’s disaster operations unit, said Thursday the additional food packs were part of the second batch of relief goods sent by the agency to the area since the standoff between government forces and members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)-Misuari faction started last September 9.

She said the food packs, which contain three kilos of rice and other food items, were shipped to Zamboanga City through the Philippine Coast Guard here.

Last week, Mendoza said the agency delivered an initial 3,600 family food packs and other relief items by land travel.

Aside from the food packs, she said 10 of their social workers were sent to the area last week to assist in the relief operations.

“Right now, we’re continually monitoring the situation there and so far, our regional director has not issued any directive regarding the shipment of additional food packs,” she told PNA.

Mendoza said DSWD-12 regional director Bai Zorahayda Taha directed them earlier this week to retain some of their relief stocks due to the fresh evacuations in parts of North Cotabato as a result of the attacks launched last Monday by elements of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Around 2,000 residents from several villages in Midsayap town and 200 more from Tulunan town in North Cotabato have fled their homes as a result of the conflict.

Bonifacio Selma, DSWD-12’s disaster operations head, said they were supposed to send 10,000 food family packs this week to Zamboanga Cty but they decided to reduce the number to 6,400 to address the needs of the evacuees in Midsayap town.