LANAO del Norte – In an effort to reach as many evacuees who fled the besieged city of Marawi, the team of Br. Dennis Tayo OFM conducted several relief operations and medical missions from May 28 up to June 13 seemingly undisturbed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ ongoing surgical airstrikes in the city. According to Tayo who is a licensed medical doctor, they have served 2,078 families through relief operations and served 1,648 patients in medical missions. This also includes relief efforts done at the Al-Qayriya Madrasah Evacuation Center.
Ground-shaking Tayo, who is the Secretary for Missions and Evangelization of the Franciscans in the Visayas and Mindanao, and the other Franciscans plan to continue their efforts unmindful of bombings in the area led by at least three government OV-10 bombers, which he said, “cause the ground to shake.” He and his group also served not just evacuees but also locals who have decided to remain in their homes, some 7 kilometers from Marawi. “The [Franciscan] community is also planning to have a ‘soup kitchen’ kind of service,” said Tayo who will coordinate this with some local Muslim residents of Balo-i who are also hosting a number of evacuees in their homes.
Healthcare for the marginalized In Tayo’s team are Dr. Joel de Jesus, a Capuchin Franciscan, and Dr. Roel Cagape, a lay, who is a Bayaning Pilipino awardee for his service in hinterlands of Sarangani province. Tayo chairs the Franciscan Health Care Crossing Borders, Inc., a health care ministry comprising volunteers from the different Franciscan Orders and congregations together with lay volunteers who live the Franciscan spirit. They aim to provide holistic health care for the marginalized, particularly the indigenous people of the country. CBCPNews