Philippines: RDCC 8 facilitates aid for displaced families in conflict-stricken barangay of Basey, Samar

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Tacloban City (December 24) -- The Regional Disaster Coordinating Council of Region 8 have come to the aid of about 86 displaced families or 473 persons from Sito Bagti, Barangay Mabini, Basey, Samar who mass evacuated because of armed conflict in the area.

Office of Civil Defense Director Angel Gaviola who is the executive director of the RDCC 8 informed that at around 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon of December 19, an armed conflict between the military and the New Peoples Army occurred at Sito Bagti.

The conflict, Dir. Gaviola said, started when the assigned troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines under the 8th Infantry Division, who were conducting area operations, encountered a multitude of NPA members, resulting in a two-hour firefight.

The encounter took place about two kilometers away from the dwellings of the residents and caused mass evacuation from Sitio Bagti to Barangay Mabini.

The displaced families are currently being accommodated at the school building of Barangay Mabini, Director Gaviola added.

The Mabini barangay officials has already provided one kilo of rice per family, in addition to clothings and other basic needs.

The local government of Basey, Samar has extended one and a half sacks of rice while the municipal social welfare office has conducted interview, assessment and stress debriefing.

Coordination with other agencies for immediate assistance to the affected families have been conducted.

Furthermore, the RDCC 8 Operations Center has also coordinated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development Region 8 for assistance. (PIA 8)