By Apipa P. Bagumbaran
MARAWI CITY, May 18 (PIA) — In response to the request of the Task Force Bangon Marawi, the 55th Engineer Brigade (Bde) assisted the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in transporting sari-sari store kits between storage hubs in Iligan and Marawi.
Major Alfie Cabael, civil-military operations officer of the 55th Engineer Bde, said the TFBM has requested for human resource and equipment assistance to transport grocery items which the DTI will distribute to internally displaced persons as part of its interventions for Marawi rehabilitation.
The 55th Engineer Bde is expected to transport more than 8,000 sets of grocery boxes from a warehouse in Sta. Filomena, Iligan City to Luksadatu in Marawi City where the distribution of livelihood starter kits is ongoing.
Cabael said the mobility support emphasizes the 55th Engineer Bde commitment to support TFBM in bringing aid to Marawi IDPs.
“Huwag kayong mag-alala dahil ang Army engineers ay laging nandito. Committed kami na ibigay ang lahat ng aming makakaya tulad ng human resource at equipment assistance,” said Cabael.
[Do not worry because the Army engineers are always here. We are committed to providing what we can such as human resource and equipment assistance.]

The Department of Trade and Industry distributes sari-sari store starter kits to internally displaced persons of Marawi City. (PIA ICIC)

As of May 18, the 55th Engineer Bde has transported 2,376 boxes of grocery items.
Headquartered in Baloi, Lanao del Norte, the Bde has been activated to help speed up the rehabilitation works for Marawi City. It is tasked to assist the TFBM in horizontal projects such as road widening, building construction, schools, drainage, public health centers, and other government facilities.
Meanwhile, Butch Hadjizaman, distribution team leader in Luksadatu, said they are targeting around 150 recipients per day.
He also assured the IDPs that they will receive assistance from DTI provided that they were profiled through Kathanor (profiling of IDPs spearheaded by TFBM) and have not received any assistance from their agency.
“Yung mga IDPs sa Marawi, huwag kayong mag-alala kasi lahat ng di nakatanggap na nakabiometric sa Kathanor, lahat makatanggap sa DTI. Ang purpose ng DTI, lahat ng di nakakuha pagbibigyan basta walang duplication,” said Hadjizaman.
[To the IDPs of Marawi, do not worry because all those who have not received and have been profiled through Kathanor, will receive such assistance from DTI. The purpose of DTI is to provide those who have not yet received assistance provided that there are no duplications.]
Naira Pangcoga and Alaiza Sambitory are among the IDPs who received sari-sari store starter kits on May 15.
Each starter kit contains various detergents, fabric conditioners, bath soaps, shampoo, toothpaste, sanitary pads, canned goods, noodles, crackers and chips, and school supplies, among others.
Sambitory is happy and thankful to DTI. “Kung may tinda ka na maliit sa bahay, makakadagdag sa kita,” she said.
[If you have a sari-sari store, it will augment your income.]
Pangcoga, on the other hand, expressed gratitude to DTI saying the income that she will earn from the sari-sari store will help sustain their daily living needs.
DTI is the lead agency of TFBM’s Subcommittee on Business and Livelihood. (Apipa Bagumbaran with report from Lou Ellen Antonio/PIA ICIC)