Highland villagers flee homes in Surigao del Sur

Published July 17, 2018, 10:50 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Mike Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday mobilized its personnel following the exodus of villagers from the highland communities in the five municipalities of Surigao del Sur province on Monday afternoon.

FILE PHOTO: Department of Social Welfare and Development logo (MANILA BULLETIN)

In its Situational Report sent to Director IV Rodolfo M. Encabo of the Disaster Response Management Bureau late Monday afternoon, DSWD 13 Regional Director Mita Chuchi Gupana-Lim said the evacuees came from the 23 highland communities originating from Lianga, San Agustin, Marihatag, San Miguel and Tago, all of Surigao del Sur.

The evacuees were temporarily sheltered at the Barangay Gymnasium of Diatagon in Lianga town, Surigao del Sur province.

The families objected to the setting up of a military (Army) detachment in Kilometer. 9, Barangay Diatagon, Lianga town, Director Lim said.

“The total number of families and persons is still for validation since the intake is still ongoing,” Director Lim also told The Manila Bulletin on Tuesday.

Some of the evacuees are lumads (Manobo natives).

“Once the number is determined, the LGU will request augmentation assistance from DSWD,” the region’s DSWD chief added.

As of this posting, the DSWD 13 Regional Field Office through the Disaster Response Management Division (DRMD) in close coordination with the MSWDO and MDRRMO will continue to monitor the situation in order to provide possible support to the concern of Local government units.

Meanwhile, the command and action center of the Army’s 401st Infantry (Unity) Brigade is still validating the evacuation of highland villagers in the 23 communities in the five municipalities in Surigao del Sur province.