Marawi relief goods pour in
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—World Medical Relief Inc. is sending medicines and equipment worth $10 million to $15 million to the war-ravaged Marawi City to help in its recovery.
George Samson, president and chief executive of World Medical Relief Inc., said the medicines and equipment will be sent in 20-footer containers and will arrive in November this year.
He made his statement even as the Catholic Church, through its social action arm NASSA/Caritas Philippines, appealed for reconciliation amid the lingering crisis in Marawi.
“We all can help lighten the situation in Marawi by exchanging kind and sincere words instead of derogatory and hurtful remarks,” said priest Edwin Gariguez following the launch of the Duyog Marawi program on Aug. 30.
Bishop Edwin dela Peña of the Prelature of St. Mary in Marawi expressed the same sentiments even as hateful and divisive remarks continued to flood especially in the media.
During an interview here, Samson said that each container would carry $500,000 worth of equipment like X-rays, cardiac monitors, operating-room materials, surgical tools, beds and medicines.
He said the shipping of the containers will be facilitated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., and that those will go directly to the hospitals, the beneficiaries in the war torn city and nearby areas.
“This is our own way of helping the people of the city for their early recovery,” Samson said. The Philippines is a regular recipient of donations from WMRI that have reached $500 million since 1994.
The charitable non-profit organization based in Detroit, Michigan, helps victims of disasters, wars and calamities worldwide who are in need of medical supplies. It was founded by Irene Auberlin in 1953.
The war in Marawi City, the summer capital of the south, started on May 23, 2017, between government soldiers and the Islamic State-supported Maute group.
The war has brought severe devastation and casualties on both sides, the latest of which was Captain Rommel Sandoval of the Army Scout Ranger and a member of the Philippine Military Academy class of 2005.
He was killed when he and his men were pushing for liberation of Marawi City against the remnants of Maute group.
WMRI is being supported by 3,000 volunteers worldwide, who are mostly retired doctors, nurses, professionals and non-professional. It also receives grants from various institutions.
Samson told Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III that they were also donating equipment and medicine to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center based in Cagayan de Oro this year.
He said they were also distributing 63,000 recycled pacemaker units around the world under the “My Heart,Your Heart” program in cooperation with the University of Michigan.