Lanao Sur—Coping with multiple crises means Maranao Muslim officials and residents have to squarely withstand realities of destruction from armed conflict and uncertainties caused by nature in a global pandemic.
But admirable is the Maranao trait of helping one another, even if one is far from home. The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) said Governor Mamintal Bombit Alonto Adiong Jr. has dispatched relief packages to thousands of Muslim communities in northern and eastern Mindanao, and even in the Visayas, NCMF Director Jun Datu Ramos said.
Governor Adiong said he was profoundly thankful for institutional aid sent to the province by the Bangsamoro Government under Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Al-Hadj Murad Ebrahim.
One example is Nashiba Radia, a young mother of two who left Marawi City in 2017 to escape the siege there to settle temporarily among Maranao market vendors in Lemery, Batangas.
Radia said she and her husband were carrying their two young children, Mohammad Reihan and Hafizah Radia, and whatever they could pick, fold and pack of their household belongings as they escaped the Marawi siege.
The young parents and their children, now five and four years old, would again experience being among thousands of internally displaced persons, as they had to move from Lemery town to Lipa City after the eruption of Taal Volcano triggered a massive evacuation on Jan. 12.
For the third time the Radias were displaced, fleeing the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic and yearning to be home.
However, help extended by Lanao del Sur-LGU even reached outside their jurisdiction, including thousands of Muslim communities in the Caraga Region, Cagayan de Oro City, parts of the Visayas region, and soon Iligan City, Datu Ramos said.
Bangsamoro Member of Parliament (MP) Zia Alonto Adiong said Lanao del Sur and Marawi City would have to deal with multiple crises, “the on-going Recovery and reconstruction of the city brought by the siege, and the current national public health emergency brought by COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We are both trying to heal the wounds by the siege and trying to heal our people from the infection. Many of our LSIs (locally stranded individuals) are in fact internally displaced persons,” Adiong said.
As of latest tallies, Lanao del Sur Provincial Community Quarantine Facilities (PCQF) have received 8,001 LSIs and 222 returning overseas Filipino workers (ROFs), or a range of 150 to 250 persons daily, Adiong said.
Six persons have died and nine more tested positive from the province’s previous list of 170, including seven admitted at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center and one in Gingoog City.
A total of 151 patients of covid19-related symptoms have recovered or have been discharged from hospitals (9); PCQF (50); Municipal Community Quarantine Facilities (84) and from the Provincial Headquarter of the Incident Command Center (8).
Sixteen have been on home quarantine in the municipalities of Maguing (2); in Marantao (2) and inside local quarantine facilities (12).