MANILA – A social welfare department officer said Thursday they have begun distributing the complete hygiene kits to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Marawi City.

According to Dennis Domingo II, Social Marketing Unit information officer of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) office in the Soccsksargen region, they started distributing the complete sets of kits in the first week of November.

Domingo explained that the incomplete hygiene kits were distributed to the IDPs during a ceremony on the day they returned to their respective barangays on October 29.

“They were distributed to returnees because the hygiene kits were not yet completed by the supplier who needed ample time to prepare the packing and ordering,” he said.

"(DSWD-Soccsksargen) Director (Zorahayda) Taha announced it in front of the media and the returnees on Oct. 29 that the supplier is still preparing the stocks. But (once) it is ready, DSWD will immediately distribute it to the IDPs,” he added.

According to a DSWD news update, Taha spoke to the returning IDPs in Basak Malutlut, Marawi City during the ceremony, and explained to them that the hygiene items were deemed to be among the immediate needs of the locals, so they decided to distribute the kits even though they were incomplete.

“The hygiene kit is not really the complete hygiene kit dahil medyo nagipit ang oras ng supplier natin, pero oras na mai-deliver ng supplier, ibibigay natin sa inyo agad (The hygiene kit is not yet complete because our supplier was pressed for time. But once we receive the supplies, we will immediately distribute them to you),” Taha assured the families.

A complete hygiene set consists of five pieces of toothbrush; five pieces of toothpaste (100 ml.); seven bottles of shampoo (180 ml.); 10 135-g. bath soaps; three 380-g. bars of laundry soap; four rolls of tissue paper; one pack of sanitary napkins; two combs; one razor; one nail cutter; and one pail.

A total of 6,469 identified and verified IDPs are supposed to receive the hygiene kits as part of the package of assistance that the DSWD is set to provide.

Beneficiaries can claim the kits by presenting coupons that were released after the validation process to prove that they are authentic IDPs of the barangays. This is to ensure that the real and deserving IDPs receive the DSWD assistance.

As part of Task Force Bangon Marawi, the DSWD has been tasked to provide relief assistance, which includes a PHP5,000 cash aid and “pabaon” packs consisting of one sack of rice, hygiene and kitchen kits. (PNA)