Office of the Vice President
29 July 2017
Vice President Leni Robredo visited a Muslim community in her hometown, Naga City, where some families displaced by the ongoing clashes in Marawi City have sought refuge.
Naga currently hosts some 20 families from Marawi who are currently staying with relatives here. VP Leni met with them, along with the rest of the Muslim community in Barangay Concepcion Pequeña last Friday, July 28.
The Vice President, who has visited evacuation centers in Lanao del Norte, noted that the evacuees’ main concern is how soon the hostilities will be resolved, so they can return to their normal lives.
While she admitted that she cannot answer this question, VP Leni reiterated her office’s commitment to continue providing assistance to the evacuees.
“Dito po sa amin, inaaako po namin kayo nang buong puso. Mababait po iyong mga tao dito sa amin, pero alam ko… ito pansamantalang tulong lahat. Puwera na lang kung iyong iba sa inyo, dito na gustong maglagay sa tahimik,” she told the IDPs.
“Welcome na welcome po kayo dito sa amin. Sisiguraduhin namin na walang mangyayaring masama dito sa inyo. At sa abot po ng aming makakaya iyong mga bagay na puwedeng maitulong namin para mapagaan iyong pinagdadaanan ninyo, gagawin po namin, sabihin niyo lang sa amin,” she added.
The evacuees raised several other concerns, including their need for food, blankets, and clothes.
Moreover, they requested that they be given spaces to set up “mini stores,” so that they will be able to contribute to the household expenses of their host relatives.
Some of them are also asking for transportation assistance, both for themselves, should they wish to return to Marawi after the clashes, and for relatives who are still in Lanao.
The Office of the Vice President, as well as officials from the local government of Naga, have committed to help address these concerns. During Friday’s visit, the OVP distributed relief packs for the evacuees.
Amid this, VP Leni underscored the importance of providing sustainable assistance to the IDPs, in order to help them start anew even while the clashes are ongoing.
She also allayed fears regarding possible security concerns as Naga takes in evacuees from Marawi. She instead emphasized that the city must ensure that the IDPs will not find it difficult to live here.
“Ako, very secure naman dito sa atin. Siyempre kailangang mas palakasin natin iyong pag-secure sa ating mga bakwit, kasi alam natin na malaki na iyong pinagdaanan nila. Marami na iyong pinagdaanan, na sana ito iyong kanilang haven. Dapat panatag iyong kanilang kalooban na walang mangyayari sa kanila dito,” she said.