By Apipa P. Bagumbaran
 
ILIGAN CITY, July 8 (PIA) — The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic did not hinder the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process from giving aid to Maranao communities in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur.
 
OPAPP, in collaboration with the Philippine Army and Task Force Bangon Marawi, started the distribution of relief packs to vulnerable sectors on Monday, July 6, in Bakwit Village in the municipality of Matungao, Lanao del Norte.
 

IDPs in Rorogagus Transitory Shelter and Saguiran Bakwit Village get their relief assistance from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, (Angelo Dologmandin/PIA ICIC)

James Alih T. Abdul, OPAPP area manager for Northern Mindanao, said the distribution is part of their yearly support to religious activities under the program “Operation Pakikiisa Para sa Pamayanan.”
 
He said they are targeting 1,971 beneficiaries who are mostly displaced families staying in various transitory shelters in Rorogagus, Mipaga, and Boganga, all in Marawi City; and in Bakwit Villages in Matungao, Lanao del Norte and Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur.
 
A community of the Moro National Liberation Front in Camp Jabal Nur in Madamba town and Maute-ISIS returnees from the municipalities of Butig, Sultan Dumalondong, Pagayawan, and Piagapo will also benefit from the relief assistance.
 
The family of Solaicah Diamla is one of the 128 beneficiaries from the Matungao Bakwit Village who received 20 kilograms of commercial rice, assorted grocery items, and a hygiene kit. She expressed gratitude to OPAPP and TFBM for coming to their village to bring relief.
 
“Sa tagal ng COVID-19, hindi na kami nakakalabas ng bahay dahil nag-iingat kami para sa safety ng pamilya namin. Kaya nagpapasalamat kami na dumating ang OPAPP at TFBM dahil malaking tulong ito sa amin,” she said.
 

Nor-ain Bonsalagan from Saguiaran Bakwit Village is thankful for the relief assistance she received from OPAPP. (Apipa Bagumbaran/PIA ICIC)

Nor-ain Bonsalagan from Saguiaran Bakwit Village is also thankful for the items she received. “Nagpapasalamat kami dahil kahit malayo kami ay nararating pa rin kami ng kanilang tulong. Hindi mapapantayan itong tulong nila lalong-lalo na ngayon na sobra ang pangangailangan namin sa pagkain,” she said.
 
The same gratitude was also extended by Omar Gabriel of Rorogagus Transitory Shelter saying the rice and groceries will help them in their everyday food consumption. “Hindi kami makalapit sa mga kamag-anak namin kasi lahat ngayon ay naghihirap dahil sa COVID-19,” he added.
 
Some 124 displaced families staying in Mipaga Transitory Shelter and 700 in Boganga Transitory Shelter are also set to receive the relief aid from OPAPP today. (APB/PIA ICIC)