Volunteers gathered at the BDA Office, Cotabato City to repack relief supplies for distribution to Evacuation Centers in Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte and Marawi City, Lanao del Sur. (Photo courtesy: United Bangsamoro Humanitarian Assistance-UBHA)

UNYPAD collects donations from its chapters for Humanitarian Assistance in Marawi City

COTABATO CITY – The United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) have collected food and non-food items from its various chapters nationwide intended for the affected families of the ongoing firefights between government forces and the ISIS-inspired Maute and Abu Sayaff Terror Group in Marawi City. These initiatives were in response to the United Bangsamoro Humanitarian Assistance (UBHA) calls to help the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the City.

Yusoph Lumambas, Secretary-General of the UNYPAD said that they have instructed their provincial and city chapters to donate both cash and in-kind. “The Office of the Vice President for Internal Affairs headed by brother Tu Alid Alfonso has sent memo asking our chapters and its communities to give and share their assistance to the IDPs of Marawi and Lanao del Sur areas,” said Lumambas.

Lumambas also disclosed that some Overseas Bangsamoro-Filipino Workers (OB-FW) have channeled their donations to UNYPAD and turned-over them to UBHA which was entrusted to collect, repack and distributes the relief supplies in the evacuation sites in Marawi and Iligan City and other municipalities of Lanao del Sur with the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) who chairs the UBHA steering committee.

UNYPAD-North Cotabato Provincial chapter with the help of Local Government Unit of Pikit municipality have gathered twenty one (21) sacks of rice and immediately handed them over to UBHA relief center at the BDA Office, Tamontaka, Cotabato City.

Dr Anwar Saluwang, the Deputy Sec. Gen. of UNYPAD who turned-over the cash donated by the OB-FW to UBHA said that they have dispatched volunteers coming from Cotabato City State Polytechnic Collge (CCSPC)-BS in Community Development interns at the UNYPAD to help in the repacking of relief supplies at the BDA office.

“Not only that, the UNYPAD Cotabato City Chapter also instructed their members to volunteer in the repacking activities of BDA,” Saluwang said.

He said further that some cash received from various chapters of the organization will be given to UNYPAD Marawi and Ranao Chapter whose officers and members were also displaced by the Marawi clash since May 23.

The Luzon Cluster of UNYPAD chaired by Kamim Macmod had also collected relief supplies together with community leaders in Manila, and to be distributed after the Eid’l Fitre congregational prayer.

On the other hand, another Moro foundation, the Al-Balagh Foundation based in Cotabato City donated sacks of rice to UBHA. They have also distributed relief supplies directly to other evacuation centers in Lanao del Sur.

Meanwhile, on Friday, June 23, the leadership of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has turned-over 300 bags of rice to UBHA.

Mohammad Ameen, MILF Central Committees’ Head of Secretariat said that it is an additional humanitarian effort of the MILF aside from the ‘peace corridors’ that had been tasked to facilitate the rescue of civilians trapped in the war zone.

The UBHA was formed in response to the Marawi Crisis that centralizes the collection of donation from the Bangsamoro people, CSOs, NGOs, Schools, and do the identification of ‘bakwits’ in the evacuation areas and the distributions. 

They have already distributed 6000 complete packs of both food and non-food relief goods in the identified target evacuation centers in the cities of Iligan and Marawi and Lanao del Sur Province last May and in the month of Ramadan 1438H or June 2017, and are still collecting donations.

Mr. Badrudin Mamendig, Provincial Chairman of UNYPAD North Cotabato Cluster-2 Provincial Chapter poses upon arrival at the BDA Office, Tamontaka, Cotabato City during the hand-over of the 21 bags of rice on June 12, 2017.