MARAWI City — A Maranao woman has urged evacuees to ask Christian churches to help them, and appealed to the latter to consider giving out cash instead of relief goods.
As the crisis dragged on for almost four months now, Samira Gutoc Tomawis head of the Ranao Rescue Team said it may be an opportunity to bridge the gap between Muslims and Christians.
“Tayong Muslim na Filipino evacuees huwag tayong matakot sa church to find that they can actually provide support,” Tomawis said, as reports indicated of church groups in Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City that they were willing to give cash assistance to the evacuees over the weekend.
Tomawis said agencies who are keen on helping the evacuees should consider giving out cash instead of relief goods.
“Give them the decision on what they need to do with their lives,” she said.
Financial aid will also empower the evacuees on what they really need to buy as help is no longer coming as regular as it should.
She said the displaced residents from Marawi City “are facing hunger and diseases and leaders of civil-society organizations are sounding the alarm that evacuees are facing stark poverty.”
“After 100 days, we are really saying na it’s really survival of the fittest. People are begging in Lanao,” she said.
Tomawis said the economy in Marawi City, the capital of Lanao del Sur province, “seemed to have frozen” as the place turned into a battleground between Islamic State of I raq and Syria-inspired militants and the government forces since May 23. (davaotoday.com)