DSWD Chief assures speedy delivery of relief aid to displaced families in ‘Lawin’-hit areas

MANILA — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assured Saturday of its continuous efforts in speeding-up the delivery of relief goods to all local government units (LGUs) affected by Supertyphoon Lawin, which struck Regions CAR, I, II, III, CALABARZON, and V on Wednesday.

DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo said that as of 2 a.m. Saturday, 56,226 families, or 237,681 persons, were displaced in the said regions, of which, 29,533 families or 116,826 persons were currently taking shelter in 1,095 evacuation centers set up by local government units (LGUs), while 18,018 families, or 83,986 persons, were staying with their relatives and friends.

To date, a total of Php 14,072,830 worth of relief assistance has been provided to the affected families.

Of the said amount, the Department provided Php 10,144,496 while respective LGUs in the affected areas provided a total of Php 3,584,254.

The amount of relief assistance is still expected to increase as relief operations are still on-going in all affected areas.

Reports on damaged houses

The DSWD is also starting to receive initial reports on damage to properties from the different regional offices.

Based on the latest report, there are 6,308 damaged houses in Regions CAR, I, II, and III; of which, 5,209 were partially damaged and 1,099 were totally damaged.

The Department is continuously coordinating with the LGUs in the affected areas to get a clear picture of the situation and expects these numbers to change in the coming days.

DSWD Quick Response Teams (QRTs) in affected regions are on a 24/7 operations and are in continuous coordination with the LGUs for the situational analysis and assessment on the effects of ‘Lawin’.

Taguiwalo also personally attended the Cagayan Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CRDRRMC) yesterday to personally monitor the situation in Region II.

The DSWD Chief also visited some evacuation centers and distributed family food packs to the families as part of her desire to comfort the affected families and make them feel that the government is near and responding and check their situations at the same time on the ground level.

“I reiterate that the Department is ready to augment the resources of affected LGUs. We have enough stockpile of relief goods and stand-by funds for immediate assistance to all displaced citizens),” Taguiwalo said.

She also said that a total of Php 745,729,683.18 standby funds remained at the Central Office (CO) and Field Offices (FOs). Of the said amount, Php 723,119,508.87 is the available Quick Response Fund at the Central Office.

“There is also a total of 297,566 Family Food Packs (FFPs) amounting to Php 109,923,954.91 and available Food and Non-Food Items (FNFIs) amounting to Php 245,685,539.27,” she said.

Call for volunteers

Meanwhile, the DSWD Chief also encouraged the countrymen to help in the repacking of relief goods so these may immediately reach the survivors.

Those who are interested to help the DSWD by volunteering their services in repacking relief goods in Metro Manila may call (02) 856-3665 or 851-2680 for their preferred schedule.

Schedule is needed to be followed to ensure the smooth management of volunteers in the National Resource and Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City.

Those outside Metro Manila may proceed to the nearest DSWD Field Offices in their area.

Flooding in Maguindanao

Meanwhile, DSWD-Field Office X reported that the number of flooded municipalities in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has increased from 11 to 12 municipalities with 29,651 affected families or 144,865 persons.

These are the towns of Sultan Mastura, Datu Salibo, Shariff Saidona, Datu Montawal, Pagalungan, Ampatuan, Datu Abdulah Sangki, Rajah Buayan, Sultan sa Barongis, Northern Kabuntalan, Sultan Kudarat, and Mamasapano.

The Field Office had initially released 10,000 FFPs thru the DSWD-ARMM as augmentation to the affected families.

The Field Office is also closely coordinating with concerned LGUs for any assistance that they need. Leilani Junio/PNA-northboundasia.com