After the once bustling city of Marawi was ravaged in a three-month battle against the Maute group and its supporters, affected residents have been desperate for even the most basic shelter and adequate necessities.
Responding to this dire need, the PSALM, through its volunteers and the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Group partnered with MBA students from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines who were launching a project for their subject on Corporate Social Responsibility. One of the students leading the project is Reynaldo A. Bernardo, Jr. who is also a staff of PSALM’s Universal Charge Administration Department.
On 24 August 2017, the “Blankets for Marawi” drive came into fruition as new and used blankets and bedsheets, including some packs of clothing, donated by individual donors and cause-oriented groups were turned in by the students to the CSR Group. Ms. Dolores “Dolly” Cruz of the Office of the Corporate Secretary served as facilitator to the students.
Based on reports, most of the Marawi residents are still displaced and staying either in nearby towns or cities, evacuation centers or with relatives as home-based internally displaced persons or IDPs. Ms. Cruz said that projects like Blankets for Marawi will serve as instruments to communicate peace, acceptance and genuine concern for fellow human beings despite differences.
Asked on the choice of blankets as items for donation, “It is challenging to obtain blankets for donation to Marawi. However, a blanket signifies great respect, love and care for a person. The giving of blankets to Marawi residents is like giving a hug to comfort them from the current chaotic environment,” said MBA student Jenny Babe Santos.
The items were repacked and are to be sent over to Marawi and nearby towns courtesy of Manila-based Muslim professionals who have ties in southern Mindanao. Local groups such as the Young Moro Professionals Network, international non-governmental organization Medecins Sans Frontieres and academic institutions such as the UP Institute for Islamic Studies had also sent financial and material support to the affected residents after the siege.Back