ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) Acting Executive Director Adelina Kamal (second from the left) formally hands over boxes of ASEAN relief items to: (from left to right) Task Force “Bangon Marawi” Executive Director and Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary Cesar Yano, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., DSWD Undersecretary Hope Hervilla, and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Officer-in-Charge Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima at Laguindingan Airport, Misamis Oriental.
MANILA (DWDD) – As the armed crisis in Marawi City continues to displace families in the two provinces of Lanao, the Philippine government, led by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., and Task Force “Bangon Marawi” executive director and Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary Cesar Yano, recently received the assistance from the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) at the Laguindingan Airport, Misamis Oriental.
AHA Centre acting executive director Adelina Kamal, formally handed over relief items and equipment comprised of 600 family tents, 600 family kits, 3,000 hygiene kits, 600 kitchen sets, and four water filtration units which will be augmented to the Philippine government’s disaster response cluster for distribution to displaced Marawi locals.
AHA Centre serves as the regional hub of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to ensure the fast and efficient humanitarian and disaster response within the region, and the accuracy of information and knowledge-sharing on disaster management among ASEAN member states.
Also present in the turnover ceremony were DSWD Undersecretary Hope Hervilla and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) officer-in-charge Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima, as well as DSWD Field Office X Regional Director Nestor Ramos.
Sec. Taguiwalo said that the assistance of the AHA Centre reaffirms the strong commitment of the ASEAN to work together and assist each other especially during times of crisis.
“Solidarity is clearly present in today’s ceremony and we convey our gratitude to our ASEAN neighbors for their commitment to respond to any humanitarian crisis or disaster. We hope to continue to strengthen our partnership with them as we realize our goal as One ASEAN,” said Sec. Taguiwalo.
Sec. Taguiwalo said that because the relief items were immediately turned over to the DSWD – specifically FO X – the agency will proceed to utilize them to help the internally displaced Filipinos from Marawi.
“Everyday is a learning experience for us when it comes to disaster response because the needs of the people we seek to help and care for continue to evolve. We are grateful for the assistance of the ASEAN, specially the AHA Centre and we hope that we can work on joint activities and programs from which the Philippines can learn,” she concluded. SMS DSWD / MCAG