MANILA, Philippines – Be a hero for our hero soldiers and cops, and for the civilians affected by the crisis in Marawi City.
Colonel Thomas Sedano Jr of the Philippine Army’s Civil Military Operations Group (CMOG) made the appeal at the launch of #OgopMarawi on Tuesday, June 13.
#OgopMarawi is the relief operations spearheaded by CMOG for the benefit of the soldiers and affected civilians in Marawi.
Ogop means “help” in Maranao, Sedano explained.
“In doing our commitment of serving Filipinos better, we in the CMOG intend to extend our help not just to our Muslim and Christian brothers affected by the Marawi siege, but also to our fellow troops fighting for peace in Marawi city with the help of our stakeholders,” he added.
As of June 9, at least 58 soldiers and police have been killed in the battlefield of Marawi since the siege began on May 23. The government paid tribute to them through a noontime salute on Monday, June 12.
Continuing heavy clashes between government troops and local terrorist groups have torn down high-rise buildings in Banggolo, among the region’s busiest trading centers in Marawi. Images of destruction in the crisis-hit city rendered the place unfamiliar to Marawi residents who grew up there.
Majority of the residents have also fled their homes to seek refuge in nearby provinces.
According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), at least 65,198 families or 316,684 persons have been affected by the crisis as of June 13. Of this figure, 3,074 families or 14,772 persons are in 68 evacuation centers spread out in and around the crisis-hit city of Marawi.
To address the diverse needs of those affected by the crisis, #OgopMarawi has 3sub-categories.
Project shoebox to provide school supplies to about 50,000 children and students
Bayanihan para sa mga Bayani ng Bayan to provide clothes, hygiene kits, and inspirational messages for the troops
Relief operations to provide aid to thousands of civilians displaced by the conflict
The Philippine army is not alone in this endeavor.
Partner institutions such as the JCI San Juan Dambana and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, and First Kick for Peace Foundation turned over boxes of donations to the CMOG for #OgopMarawi.
“These donations will give hope for the children, soldiers, and people. Our mission is to spread hope and love,” said Katherine Yap of JCI San Juan Dambana.
How to help
To reach more people affected by the crisis, Philippine Army chief Major General Robert Arevalo called on to the public to show solidarity with the affected civilians, and security forces by supporting the army-initiated relief operations.
“In this time when our hope for peace is not our best ally, every effort, every act of kindness does not only deliver relief to meet their basic needs. It also brings hope and relief to our their spirits, for every act of kindness is a message of support for peace,” Arevalo said.
Here’s how you can support #OgopMarawi:
- To help the civilians affected by the conflict, you may donate halal food, bottled water, clothes, hygiene kits and medicines.
- To help soldiers deployed to Marawi, you may donate clothes, hygiene kits, and inspirational messages, to JCI San Juan Dambana. Drop off stations are located at the Logistics Support Group, ASCOM, Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifactio and Strata Views, 306 P. Guevarra St., San Juan City, and CMOG, PA Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio.
- To help send Marawi students to school, fill a shoebox with basic school supplies, hygiene kit, and inspirational messages.
- Cash donations are accepted. For bank information, please contact Shiela Baay of JCI San Juan Dambana at 09178778152.
Those interested to support the #OgopMarawi may get in touch with Major Mike Ramirez of the Philippine Army CMOG at 09083972712. – Rappler.com
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