RELIEF OPERATION. A soldier from the Army's 10th Infantry Division hands over milk to a resident of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng in Upi, Maguindanao, during a relief operation on Nov. 5, 2022. Along with other stakeholders, the Army division distributed relief goods to thousands of evacuees staying at the Notre Dame of Upi school and Barangay Happy Valley, Upi. (Photo courtesy of 10ID)

DAVAO CITY – The Army’s 10th Infantry Division (10ID) and its partner-stakeholders conducted relief operations for the affected communities of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng in Upi, Maguindanao over the weekend.

In a statement Monday, 10ID said the Army division and its partners distributed 2,038 relief goods, 120 water gallons, 1,400 hygiene kits, 372 ready-to-eat foods, pre-loved clothes, slippers, medicines, and other food items to the evacuees at the Notre Dame of Upi and Barangay Happy Valley.

Among the donors were Kiwanis International, Youth For Peace Movement Region 11, Mindanao Peace Council, Kingdom of Jesus Christ, Palm City North Davao Eagles Club, and the Tagum City government.

The Philippine Federation of Local Councils of Women, Business and Professional Women Davao Chapter, South Divers Point Sarangani, ECCAN Project, Balik-Loob, Balik-Tulong Former Rebel Organization, Office of the Vice Governor of Davao De Oro, and other individual stakeholders, also contributed to the mission.

Hazel Ann Marquez, 40, of Upi town thanked the Army and the civic groups for the relief goods.

“The water entered our home, and we stayed on the roof. We saved nothing and only ensured the safety of my children. We were terrified,” she said.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Nolasco Mempin, the 10ID commander, thanked all the stakeholders who helped in the relief operations.

“Attending to the needs and concerns of our fellow citizens in Maguindanao severely hit by the recent Typhoon Paeng only affirms that the spirit of 'Bayanihan' is still alive,” he said.

Mempin urged other organizations to help disaster-affected communities.

Around the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), 468 villages were hit by floods brought by Paeng with 223,256 households or 570,285 individuals affected, mostly in Maguindanao provinces.

BARMM Interior Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said the number of fatalities stood at 53 with 12 still missing and 38 injured.

Through the BARMM Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence, the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) reported that 402 houses were partially-damaged and 339 destroyed.

The calamity also damaged PHP225.7 million worth of agricultural products and farm animals in 28 of 36 towns of Maguindanao. (PNA)