Coast Guard, soldiers pool resources to distribute food packs to fisherfolk and Marawi ‘bakwits’

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 27 April) —  Personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Iligan station and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) as well as members of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) pooled their personal resources to distribute food packs to fisherfolk of Iligan Bay on Saturday.

Capt. Dexter Torres, PCG station commander of Iligan station and deputy commander of PCG Northern Mindanao, said they distributed food packs to fisherfolk from the coastal villages of Tambacan, Sitio Fuentes of Barangay Maria Cristina and Barangay Buru-un here, and Linamon in Lanao del Norte who are not recipients of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), although some are beneficiaries of the 4Ps or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Jupiter  Bitangcor Suvior, 37, of Purok 1 Magoong, Linamon town, said “maayo na lang ni pang-abag sa kagutom panahon sa COVID 19” (this will help us stave off hunger in the time of COVID-19). Suvior and wife Joan have six children.

Also on Saturday in Matungao, Lanao del Norte, the 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army gave assorted food packs and provided potable water supply to 131 households who are evacuees from the 2017 Marawi siege living in temporary shelters there.

Lieutenant Colonel Domingo Dulay Jr., commander of the 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army, extends food assistance to a Meranaw community in Matungao, Lanao del Norte, on April 25, 2020, the second day of Ramadan in time of COVID-19 pandemic. MindaNews photo by RICHEL V. UMEL

The mini water tanks were placed on military vehicles. Soldiers filled the containers of the residents, providing at least two gallons of water. But social distancing was observed as well as wearing of face masks.

Lt. Col. Domingo Dulay Jr., commanding Officer of the 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion, said soldiers and volunteers pooled their resources to help the beneficiaries as they observe Ramadan in the time of COVID-19.

“Water and food are equally  important  in this crucial moment,” Dulay said.

The province of Lanao del Norte has been classified under “moderate” COVID-19 condition and will be placed under the General Community Quarantine, Dulay said.

As of April 25, Lanao del Norte has one confirmed case and 38 suspects, three of whom are still admitted, 14 discharged, 20 outpatient and one death. (Richel V. Umel / Mindanews)