By Claire Gigje

MARAWI CITY PIA)–One hundred internally displaced persons (IDPs) who benefitted from the cash-for-work program of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – Philippines conveyed their gratitude for the significant aid the international organization and its project has contributed to their dwelling in Bahay Pag-asa I in Brgy. Bito Buadi Itowa here.

Engr. Ismael Ali, the camp manager of the temporary shelter, said that seeing the situation of their houses deteriorated over time by the weather condition in the city, he asked the ICRC for tarpaulins that would at least cover the holes for them to be habitable even during rainy moments, but the organization went beyond their request as much more were provided to them.

Camp manager Engr. Ismael Ali conveys his gratitude to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)-Philippines for its big contribution to their dwelling at Bahay Pag-asa I in Brgy. Bito Buadi Itowa, Marawi City. (Angelo D. Dologmandin/PIA-ICIC)

“Malaki ang tulong na naibigay nila kasi ang hinihingi ko lang ay trapal. Hindi lang trapal ang ibinigay nila. Nagbigay pa sila ng nipa, bamboo, martilyo, bolo at mga pako. Ang nakatira pa sa bahay, sinahuran pa nila,” he conveyed.

[The help they gave was big because what I asked for was just tarpaulins. They did not just give tarpaulin. They also gave nipa, bamboo, hammer, bolo and nails. They also paid those who live in the house.]

Ali said two of their representatives per household were just compensated by the ICRC for repairing their own homes within ten days with the rate P4,000 for the skilled worker or main carpenter and P3,000 for the unskilled worker or the helper.

With this, he conveyed his gratefulness to the organization which is also behind the water supply in the area.

“Since 2017 sa October, mayroon pang bombahan sa Marawi, nagsimula na ang ICRC. Nagbigay na sila dito ng tulong na tubig at hanggang ngayon, andito pa rin. Nakakatulong sa amin ang ICRC. Sa lahat ng tumulong sa amin, ang hindi lang humiwalay sa amin ay ang ICRC… Hindi ko mababayaran [ang ginawa nila]. Maraming salamat talaga sa ICRC. Iyan talaga ang pinakapinapasalamatan kong NGO,” said Ali.

[Since 2017 in October, there was still bombing in Marawi, the ICRC already started. They already gave help through water supply and until now, they are still here. The ICRC is helping us. Of all that helped us, only ICRC did not leave us… I cannot pay [what they have done]. Thank you so much to the ICRC. That is really the NGO that I am most thankful for.]

Maimona Ali, also a resident of Bahay Pag-asa I, recognized as well the longtime help the ICRC has provided in their shelter which she is thankful for.

Another resident Ashira Palawan also expressed her satisfaction with the assistance brought by the ICRC considering the hardship they went through after the siege and now during the pandemic.

“Salamat sa ICRC. Grabe ang naitulong nila sa amin, walang kabayaran. Sa hirap ng nadaanan namin, ito ang another chance namin. Talagang masaya kami dahil mahirap ang buhay ngayon pero sumasabay sila sa amin. Masaya po kami sa lahat ng naitulong nila,” she said.

[Thanks to ICRC. Their help is really great, nothing can compensate. With the difficulties we went through, this is our another chance. We are really happy because life right now is hard but they are with us. We are really happy with everything they helped us.] (CRG/PIA-ICIC)