As many as 3,000 families displaced by the crisis in Lanao del Sur province’s Marawi City and about 300 soldiers wounded in ongoing military operations there recently received relief goods from the BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Banco de Oro Unibank, as part of its disaster-response advocacy and commitment to serve communities affected by armed conflict.
For the actual distribution, the BDO Foundation tapped Ako ang Saklay Inc., a non-profit, non-governmental organization that cares for the sick and offers aid to differently abled individuals. Led by its director, Fr. Arnold Abelardo, the Roman Catholic organization conducts relief work for people affected by disasters and organizes outreach and medical missions in underprivileged communities.
About 35 Ako ang Saklay volunteers distributed the relief goods containing food and water to families staying in evacuation centers in Lanao del Norte province. The volunteers also reached out to soldiers and policemen in camps in Marawi. Food packs were handed out in the city’s Amai Pakpak Medical Center, where wounded soldiers and civilians were confined for treatment.
In support of the BDO Foundation’s relief efforts in Mindanao, volunteers from BDO branches in Butuan City also distributed school supplies to an estimated 180 children from Marawi who transferred to schools in the city.
“Our relief operations and corporate citizenship programs in Mindanao are part of our disaster response advocacy in the region,” BDO Foundation President Mario Deriquito said.
Prior to the Marawi relief operations, the foundation completed the rehabilitation of two rural health units in North Cotabato and Surigao del Sur provinces.
“As the humanitarian crisis in Marawi continues, people in evacuation centers, as well as home-based evacuees, will continue to depend on the generosity of others to help them cope with the situation. In response, BDO Foundation will continue to help them,” Deriquito said.
“We will find ways to pursue projects that benefit Mindanaoans affected by armed conflict,” he added.