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Give priority to refugee centers in Mindanao

Muslim refugees in the southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)
MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 30, 2011) – Congressman Jack Enrile, of Cagayan province, has urged the Aquino government to improve the living conditions of thousands of families still living in evacuation centers as a result of hostilities and natural calamities in parts of Mindanao, saying affected individuals – especially children – suffer from lack of even the basic needs such as shelter, food, and security while displaced from their homes.
Many of those displaced are staying in refugee centers in the Muslim autonomous region.

Enrile called on the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to prioritize the protection and improvement of living conditions in evacuation centers in the allocation of the P8.5 billion disbursement acceleration fund for the Muslim autonomous region.

The lawmaker cited the need to set up decent living quarters and to provide sufficient food and water, medicines, clothing, and security in evacuation centers. He added that the government should do more to allow displaced children to resume their schooling and provide livelihood for parents while away from home.

“While a lot of attention is being given in pursuit of the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the military offensive against other lawless elements in Mindanao, especially in ARMM, efforts to improve the living conditions of families displaced by the hostilities seem insufficient,” Enrile said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.

“With more than P8 billion in its pocket, the ARMM Transition Team led by the DILG should have enough resources to at least provide for the basic needs of people living in evacuation centers.” (Mindanao Examiner)

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