10 Aug 2017

If you have been following the news about Marawi City, it’s easy to see that as the operation continues, there is also urgent need to donate and send aid to both the “bakwits (evacuees)” and the soldiers.

While the authorities are forward-looking with a rehabilitation plan for Marawi already in place, focus must be made on the immediate needs of those in the war-torn areas. In this regard, we rounded up priority items that everyone can collectively supply to the evacuation centers and military camps.

WATER. Access to safe and clean water is a must for both the evacuees and soldiers. They are already in a crisis situation and health issues should not add to their worries. Agua Vida took the initiative of sending mobile water stations to military camps while Asia Brewery has also been sending Absolute white-labeled water bottles to evacuation centers and military camps. Both Lucio Tan-owned companies are active in helping out the Marawi soldiers and evacuees. If you’re thinking of items to donate, water is a top priority.

HALAL FOOD. Majority of the affected residents in Marawi are Muslims and because of their faith, it is important to note that the food we should be donating or preparing for our Muslim brothers and sisters should be “halal” (meaning permissible or lawful). Thankfully, there are canned goods and grocery items that are Halal-certified. Be mindful in checking the label.

HIJAB/CLOTHES (FULL BODY COVERAGE). Because of the nature of the crisis, many of the residents fled only with the clothes on their back. As with Muslim practices, there is a special need to send out and donate hijab (a veil or covering traditionally worn by Muslim women) as well as pieces of clothing that would fully cover the women. Underwear and socks would also be appreciated.

BLANKET. Being forced out of their homes, the evacuees would need blankets to protect themselves from the cold and what the everyday weather would bring. The blankets would be useful to the troops as well.

TOILETRIES (TOOTHBRUSH/TOOTHPASTE/TOILET PAPER/SANITARY NAPKIN/BABY DIAPER/BATH SOAP/SHAMPOO/DEODORANT). Regular bathing and dental care remain very much a part of the daily lives of the bakwits and the soldiers. Health and hygiene would always be a priority. The sanitary napkin is especially important for women bakwits so they wouldn’t have to worry about access to feminine hygiene. Diapers would also be needed by infants and toddlers affected by the crisis.

MEDICINE AND FIRST AID KITS. Access to first aid and medicines should always be available for the soldiers and the bakwits. Health and safety issues are on top of the list.

STUFFED TOYS. Sadly, children are not spared from the ugly complications of war and have to deal with the situation as “collateral damage.” Stuffed toys would help ease the discomforts of displacement and would provide warmth and entertainment for the kids.

BATTERIES. Be it typhoon, earthquake or a siege, battery donations would also be of help. It can be used for flashlights and radio and for other emergency situations.

There are a number of organizations which could help send donations, be they cash or in kind, to Marawi. Consider getting in touch with the following:

PHILIPPINE RED CROSS Address: PRC Tower 37 EDSA cor. Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City Contact:

Local Government of Marawi City (Satellite Office) Address: 12 Guillermo Guevarra Street, Camague (near Mercy Community Hospital), Iligan City Contact: 0955-769-4404; 0915-972-4348; 0930-009-1401