MANILA — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Monday that typhoon Lawin has affected at least 211,347 families in Regions 1 to 3 and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) based on initial reports gathered by its field offices.
In a press briefing in Malacañang, DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said the number translates to around 992,184 individuals affected by the super typhoon which hit Northern Luzon last Thursday.
Based on the initial reports, Cordillera has the most number of affected families with 66,875 or a total of 304,796 persons; followed by Region 2 with 59,319 affected families and a total of 283,953 individuals.
Region 1 has 52,655 affected families or 264,778 individuals and Region 3 has 32,498 families affected or 138,657 individuals.
Taguiwalo said the government has already started to distribute PHP5,000 each in emergency shelter assistance to several Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries whose houses were destroyed in the affected regions.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte initiated the ceremonial distribution of the emergency aid during his visit in Cagayan on Sunday.
“We came out with a memorandum asking our field offices to distribute within the first two or three weeks an initial amount of PHP5,000 per individual, per household, whose houses were damaged. The criteria would be, for the poorest of the poor households, those members of the 4Ps and those who are considered poor even if they are not members of 4Ps. We are doing this in coordination with local government officials,” Taguiwalo said.
In the meantime, she said that the agency is preparing a more intensive assessment and validation so that the emergency shelter assistance can be done immediately.Relief programs are also continuing as there are still isolated areas which have yet to be reached, particularly in the Kalinga-Apayao area.
“We are also concerned with Central Luzon because the floods have started to come in Central Luzon. We have projected that after going through Northern Luzon, the waters would come down to Central Luzon, which has always acted as the catch basin for water coming from the north,” Taguiwalo said. Cielito Reganit/PNA-northboundasia.com