Evacuees due to typhoon ‘Lawin’ start returning home –DSWD

MANILA — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Tuesday that families affected by super typhoon “Lawin” have started returning home.

As of 6 a.m. Tuesday, only 1,462 families or 5,581 persons are staying in 66 evacuation centers set up and maintained by local government units (LGUs).

“This is good news that families have started to return to their places of origin. They can begin to reconstruct using the initial cash assistance that the DSWD is providing under the Emergency Shelter Assistance,” DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said.

To date, a total of PHP33,849,398.67 worth of relief assistance has been provided to the affected families. Of this amount, the Department provided PHP27,826,540.57; the respective LGUs contributed a total of PHP6,017,858.10; while some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) provided a total of PHP5,000.

Over the weekend, Secretary Taguiwalo joined President Rodrigo R. Duterte in visiting the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela and Ilocos Norte to monitor the situation and assess the extent of the damage caused by the typhoon.

The President held a meeting with concerned LGUs to discuss measures for the immediate rehabilitation and recovery of the affected areas and how to efficiently improve emergency relief services.

“Nagtutulungan ang mga LGUs, members ng private sector, ang taumbayan at ang pambansang gobyerno sa pamumuno ni President Duterte para maibigay ang saklolong para sa ating mga kapatid na nasalanta sa pamamagitan ng transparent at walang bahid na katiwaliang proseso ng paghahatid ng tulong. Pagsisikapan pa po namin na paghusayin at linisin ang sistema ng relief assistance (The LGUs, members of private agencies, Filipino citizens, and the national government under the leadership of President Duterte are working together to provide immediate assistance to our brothers and sisters affected by the typhoon through a more transparent process without corruption. We will continue to make improvements in the relief and assistance distribution),” Secretary Taguiwalo said.

Meanwhile, the DSWD continues receiving several requests for assistance from Kalinga province, one of the areas devastated by the typhoon in Northern Luzon.

“We assure you that DSWD and concerned agencies are now looking into ways to deliver relief supplies. Inclement weather and lack of communication have hampered our relief operations in the area, but we will try our best,” the DSWD Chief posted on her Facebook account on Monday. Leilani Junio/PNA-northboundasia.com