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ARMM taps PNRC in relief operation to avoid partisan issues

 • 00:47 AM Sat Apr 16, 2016
John Unson

CITY --- The executive department of the Autonomous Region in
Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will tap the Philippine Red Cross in its six-day
relief operations for 50,000 drought-stricken households this month to
avoid political intrigues” in the wake of the present campaign period.Engr.
Baintan Adil Ampatuan, director of ARMM’s Regional Planning and
Development Office, said the relief missions will be carried out with
the help of the non-partisan PRC, with the support of other
non-government organizations involved in domestic peace-building
ARMM component provinces, Basilan and Maguindanao, had been declared
under state of calamity by the provincial boards in each area to hasten
the release of calamity funds and justify emergency expenses for relief
operations in drought and conflict-stricken townsThe
ARMM will bankroll its six-day relief operations in towns most affected
by the drought, which scorched vast swaths of rice and corn farms in
the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur and Basilan.Ampatuan said their relief operations will be initiated from between April 19 to 21 and, subsequently, from April 28 to 30.Lawyer
Laisa Alamia, ARMM’s executive secretary, said different agencies of
the regional government will cooperate in initiating the relief
Humanitarian Emergency Assistance and Response Team (HEART) will lead
the six-day operations, under PRC’s ministerial control, to be assisted
by the region’s health, agriculture and social welfare departments. The Philippine Red Cross shall be requested to take the lead in this operation,” Alamia said.Alamia said the relief missions will focus on providing beneficiaries with food, water, medicines and agricultural inputs.Officials
of the ARMM’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries said they will
distribute seeds of drought-tolerant crops, such as watermelon, to
farmers during the relief operations.A matrix obtained from the HEART indicated that 10 of Maguindanao’s 36 towns were badly affected by the drought.Thousands
of ethnic Maguindanaon villagers were displaced by hostilities between
the military and the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in
Datu Salibo town southwest of the province from late January to early
Lanao del Sur, 27 of the 39 towns in the province were also affected by
the dry spell, according to reports collected by the HEART from local
government units there.Five of the 11 towns in Tawi-Tawi had also been ravaged by the drought, according to HEART.In Basilan, farmers in nine of the 11 towns in the province also reported having incurred heavy crop losses due to the drought.

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