Residents in Clarin who have been affected by the clashes between government troops and at least four Abu Sayyaf bandits in the town last Saturday will undergo stress debriefing.
Clarin Mayor Allen Ray Piezas said that the stress debriefing for affected residents, particularly children in areas near the encounter sites, will be conducted by the Department of Health (DOH).
Personnel of the local government unit have already been instructed to coordinate with the DOH as initial step to carrying out the initiative, said Piezas.
According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, 3,825 individuals from 1,082 families in 10 barangays have been evacuated since the clash on Saturday.
The affected villagers are from the Barangays of Bacani, Nahawan, Caboy, Kaluwasan, Nataob, Bonbon, Candajec, Lajog, Cabog and Poblacion Centro.
Piezas said that assistance such as the stress debriefing are needed to address continued fear which was caused by the firefight.
According to Piezas, some villagers were traumatized by the incident and have become afraid of the sight of armed men including security forces in fear of another gun battle to erupt.
Until the remaining bandits are captured, some villagers would remain to be in fear, he said.
The military had already disclosed that only three Abu Sayyaf militants remain while Piezas said that they are likely to still be in Clarin hiding in the townâ€™s hinterlands and caves.
There are reportedly seven caves in Clarin. (Rey Tutas)