ARMM, Central Mindanao LGU relief teams leave for Visayas PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 15 November 2013 12:54

The first batch of Moro medics and rehabilitation experts from the Humanitarian Emergency Assistance Relief Team (HEART) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao left for Leyte yesterday to help in the rehabilitation of thousands affected by the Typhoon Yolanda onslaught.

Laisa Alamia, regional executive secretary, said the group, led by physician Pancho Cruz, will bring with them thousands of food packs, medicines and other non-food relief supplies for dispersal to residents of Tolosa town in Leyte.

Cruz, a senior official of the Department of Health-ARMM, will help Alamia oversee the relief mission, which involves Moro relief and medical workers from across the autonomous region.

“The group was assigned by the national central office of DOH to Tolosa, Leyte,” Alamia said.

Alamia said the relief mission is supported by provincial health offices in the autonomous region and the ARMM’s social welfare department.

“Members of the team also brought with them medical instruments to enable them to perform minor surgeries. The team will operate in close coordination with national central office of DOH,” Alamia pointed out.

The HEART contingent dispatched to the Visayas is composed of workers who served thousands of evacuees during the height of the three-week siege in several barangays last September by followers of Nur Misuari.

Alamia said the office of ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman will monitor on a round-the-clock basis the relief operation of HEART in Leyte.

Hataman exercises ministerial control over HEART, which is an inter-agency organization activated early this year as a special contingent focused on addressing disaster and emergency situations.

North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Talino-Mendoza said their relief and rehabilitation group will leave for Tacloban City on November 17.

Members of the team will bring with them relief supplies donated by North Cotabato residents and the local government units (LGUs) in the province.

The North Cotabato provincial government, which started collecting donations early this week, is now initiating coordination with government agencies that can help transport supplies and medical personnel to Tacloban City, according to Mendoza.

“We sympathize with all people affected by the typhoon. Their plight is so saddening. We are one with them in heart and spirit,” Mendoza said.

The office of Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, the league of mayors in the province and the provincial board will also embark on a joint relief and rehabilitation mission for Tacloban City residents.

Bobby Katambak, a member of the Maguindanao provincial board, said the relief mission from the province departed for the Visayas last Friday.

Katambak said Mangudadatu, who is chairman of the provincial peace and order council, had tasked senior officials of the provincial government, led by Lynette Estandarte, to oversee the relief mission.

Estandarte, who is Maguindanao’s chief provincial budget officer, said they will distribute food packs, medicines and non-food relief goods to typhoon victims.

Estandarte said each of the food packs contain three kilos of rice, canned sardines, candles, matches, and medicines for common ailments.

Estandarte said Mangudadatu also donated two truckloads of fresh Tilapia for distribution to dislocated villagers in Tacloban City.

Katambak and Estandarte said Mangudadatu has decided to make simple the commemoration of Maguindanao’s 40th founding anniversary, slated Nov. 14 to 22, in solidarity with the communities devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.

“Maguindanao, being surrounded by marshes and criss-crossed by rivers, is the top supplier of assorted freshwater fishes to many areas in Central Mindanao region. The governor wants to share the bounties that can be harvested from the marshes and rivers in the province to show solidarity with the typhoon victims,” Estandarte said.