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Cotabato welcomes military checkpoints in quake-hit areas

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The provincial government of Cotabato has welcomed the order of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to set up checkpoints in areas affected by series of earthquakes in Mindanao, including the province.

“The Provincial Government of Cotabato welcomes this development for this will help the province for its effort to establish strategic distributions of relief goods to our fellow Cotabateňos by properly monitoring the areas that already received goods to avoid duplication or concentrations of the distribution of relief goods,” the local government said.

Lorenzana, who is also the martial law administrator in Mindanao, in his directive to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said the checkpoints shall control and screen the ingress and egress of the people in the evacuation centers in Davao del Sur and Cotabato that only legitimate and authorized relief workers are granted access and receive relief goods and supplies for distributions for the evacuees.

The provincial government said the checkpoints will also help them to properly account and monitor the resources coming from national government and agencies, local government units, organizations and private individuals.

As November 2, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) has recorded 17 deaths, 271 injured, 25,016 displaced families, and 26,340 damaged houses.

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake recently struck parts of Mindanao, with epicenter at Tulunan, Cotabato. It was the third strong tremor that hit the province in a span of two weeks.

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