THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has suspended conditions for receiving cash aid under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Marawi City.
“We have suspended the (4Ps) conditionalities that will allow them to receive even if they are not attending schools or not going to health clinics, or not even attending the family development sessions,” said DSWD Officer-in-Charge Undersecretary Emmanuel Leyco during the Bangon Marawi press briefing in Malacañan on Friday, December 15.
The suspension of 4Ps conditionalities will be until March 2018, Leyco said.
Leyco also announced the launch of the DSWD operations center in Marawi and and the agency’s “portfolio of programs” in the city.
The operations center shall serve as the nerve center for our operations in Marawi to make sure that the initiatives of the Department will match the requirements of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the area, according to Leyco.
The DSWD, in particular, will focus on the recovery and re-establishment of human infrastructure in the affected communities in Marawi.
The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) will take care of the security and physical infrastructure.
The other DSWD programs in Marawi were modified sustainable livelihood, social pension, supplementary feeding, and assistance to individuals in crisis programs.
As of December 11 another 4,159 displaced families from the eight barangays under cluster 3 were able to return to Marawi, said Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag.
“That notches the total returnees up to 18,478 families or 92,390 individuals based on the records of the Marawi LGU (local government unit),” Banaag said.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of The Philippines (AFP) continues to clear barangays from improvised explosive devices at saka unexploded ordnance.
AFP Spokesperson Colonel Edgard Arevalo said the AFP is also taking preventive measures to address alleged recruitment activities of remnants of the Maute-Islamic State group in Marawi and nearby vicinity.
“(M)ay namo-monitor tayong ganitong reports kaya magpapatuloy ang ating operations upang siguruhin na they will not succeed,” Arevalo said.
To counter the terrorists’ recruitment efforts, the AFP has conducted activities like countering violent extremism dialogues with the youths, youth leaders’ summit, educational tours for Muslim youths, among others.
“Ang objective ng lahat ng ito ay bigyan ng pagkakataon ang ating mga kababayan lalo na ang mga kabataan na ma-realize nila kung ano ang—what is extremism, how is recruitment being done by these extremists,” the AFP spokesperson said.
Aside from these intervention activities, the AFP tapped its combat engineers to assist in the construction of temporary shelters and public infrastructure in Marawi.
In the same press briefing, HUDCC Assistant Secretary Avelino Tolentino III said the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process would conduct a two-day solidarity activity on December 16 and 17 for the internally displaced persons in selected evacuation centers and home-based communities.
The activity aims to promote the spirit of Christmas as a season of hope, love, peace, and unity for Muslims and Christians, which involve fun games, gift-giving, peace education, among others. rw: wjg