Social welfare Dept. assures it would continue relief efforts in Batanes as new storm looms

MANILA– Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo on Saturday assured that they will continue providing assistance to victims of Typhoon ‘Ferdie’ in Batanes province despite the expected arrival of Tropical Storm ‘Helen’ in the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

Taguiwalo said preparations for ‘Helen’ are underway following the blue alert status issued by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

“We assure the public that the Department is doing all the preparatory measures for ‘Helen’, including repacking of additional relief goods and intensifying our coordination with local government units in Northern Luzon where the storm is expected to hit,” she said.

The social welfare chief said her department maintains a standby fund of PHP801,555,717.72 and 452,284 Family Food Packs (FFPs) for distribution.

On Friday, the department’s Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DReAMB) and its Field Office in the Cagayan Valley region held a video conference to discuss the provision of emergency shelter assistance and cash-for-work to 2,241 families whose houses were damaged during the onslaught of ‘Ferdie’ in Batanes.

The victims have also been provided galvanized steel sheets to repair their houses.

Social welfare officers are also continuously conducting psychosocial support processing (PSP) to affected families in several barangays in Itbayat to help them recover from the stress and trauma they experienced during the recent typhoon. Leilani Junio/PNA/