GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Some 1,000 poor indigenous peoples (IP) families here affected by the continuing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis are set to receive rice assistance from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said Friday preparations are underway for the distribution of the rice packs donated by the BARMM for IP families settled in 18 of the city’s 26 barangays.
Rivera said the 1,000 rice packs, weighing 25 kg. each, were delivered here on Thursday by the Bangsamoro regional government through the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD).
“We’re really grateful for this donation as it will help a lot of our IPs, especially during this time that we are facing a pandemic,” he told reporters.
Rivera said the distribution of the rice assistance will be facilitated by the City Mayor’s Office’s Integrated Cultural Communities Affairs Division, in partnership with the Indigenous Political Structure and Office of the City Indigenous Peoples’ Mandatory Representative.
He said they have already coordinated with the 18 barangays with IP residents, mainly from the Blaan tribe, considered as the city’s earliest inhabitants.
Raissa Jajurie, a member of the BARMM parliament and MSSD Minister, said in a statement the relief assistance is intended to help vulnerable and needy people outside the Bangsamoro region affected by the pandemic.
The assistance was the second to be delivered by the MSSD-BARMM for the city’s crisis-affected residents.
The ministry donated in June last year some 1,000 packs of 25-kg. milled rice to poor Bangsamoro residents in several barangays here.
The recipients were needy households not included in the Social Amelioration Program and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
They were composed of farmers, fisherfolk, single parents, vendors, motorcycle-for-hire and tricycle drivers, carpenters, construction workers, and laborers from barangays Buayan, Tinagacan, Apopong, and Tambler. (PNA)