By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay
PILI, Camarines Sur --- After nearly three weeks of soliciting donations from private groups, government agencies and individuals, a contingent of soldiers from the military’s 9th Infantry Division and media practitioners carrying relief goods is now on its way to Marawi City.
Capt. Ronnie Madriñan of the Civil Military Operations is leading the relief mission to evacuees in Marawi who have already spent almost six weeks inside evacuation shelters after fleeing the war-torn Muslim city.
A cargo vessel docked at Tabaco Port in Tabaco City last Friday to ship in the donated relief goods.
The vessel is expected to reach Iligan City in the next two to three days. From the port in Iligan, military trucks will transport the goods that include more than 200 sacks of rice, used clothing and assorted commodities.
Madriñan said the relief aid consisted of five trucks of goods, cash amounting to P161, 729 from kindhearted individuals from all over Bicol and additional P700,000 from the one-day subsistence allowance of 9th ID troopers.
The donations were collected with the help of a number of institutions, namely, National Food Authority (NFA), Ako Bicol, SM City Naga, 9ID Press Corps, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology (BISCAST), Naga Central 1, Pepsi Cola, BFAR, PNP, Ateneo De Naga, Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Camarines Sur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, San Miguel Corp., Lupi-Iligan National High School, Mr. Jun Lo, Provincial Government of Camarines Sur, City Government of Naga, and other local government units in the Bicol Region.
Maj.Gen. Manolito P. Orense, commander of the 9th ID, thanked Governor Joseph Cua of Cataduanes for lending his cargo vessel free of charge to the Army in hauling the goods from Virac, Catanduanes to Iligan City.
Orense also thanked all donors for their kind heart and generosity.
Capt. Randy B. Llunar, chief of 9th ID’s Public Affairs Office, said that once Madriñan’s group reached their destination, they will be met by Lumabia Usman, Marawi City social welfare and development officer, who will assist them in distributing the goods among the Marawi evacuees.