Philippines

DSWD assures more aid coming for quake survivors

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QUEZON CITY, Feb. 14 - Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo flew to Surigao City on Sunday to make sure that the 1,685 families or 8,425 individuals who have been affected by the 6.7-magnitude earthquake that hit the city and other towns on February 10 are being provided with relief aid that they need.

These families are currently staying in open areas near their homes with some children staying with their relatives or friends.

Sec. Taguiwalo held a meeting with DSWD Field Office (FO) CARAGA and the local executives of the region to discuss the steps needed to help the victims and to respond to the damages caused by the calamity.

The welfare chief also joined President Rodrigo R. Duterte, who also flew to Surigao to check on the damages wrought by the earthquake, in handing over the cash/burial assistance to the bereaved families of the six individuals who died.

FO CARAGA has earlier procured and delivered to the LGU of Surigao City a total of 2,600 6.6-liter bottled water and 500 4-liter bottled water amounting to P140,016.50. The field office has also readied 3,900 Family Food Packs (FFPs) amounting to P1,324,611.00 for distribution to the affected families.

Meanwhile, the DSWD-Central Office (CO) has sent 10 generator sets, 150 pieces of solar lamps, 20,000 pieces of high energy biscuits (HEBs), 5,000 pieces of mosquito nets and 5,000 pieces of blankets to FO-CARAGA for immediate distribution to the earthquake survivors.

It is also coordinating with the Logistics Cluster for transporting via C-130 of a Mobile Water Treatment Facility from Maynilad and a Mobile Kitchen Facility to be sourced from Non-Government Organizations (NGOs).

Moreover, an additional 30,000 family food packs from the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) of the Department in Pasay will be transported to FO CARAGA today.

As of 2AM today, a total of P6,369,082 worth of assistance has been augmented by the Department to the LGUs.

The DSWD also clarified the news report that it has allocated P1.6 billion for the earthquake survivors saying that it is the total amount of Quick Response Funds (QRF) at the CO and stockpile and standby funds at the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) and FO-CARAGA. The amount is available should disasters occur at any given time and not for the quake survivors alone.

Meanwhile, the FO’s Quick Response Team (QRT) has been continuously coordinating with the Social Welfare and Development Teams (SWADTs) and Provincial/City/Municipal Action Teams (P/C/MATs) of the region to monitor the situation in Surigao City, as it continues to experience aftershocks. The FO is also working closely with the Local Social Welfare and Development Offices (LSWDOs) and Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices (LDRRMOs).

Based on initial rapid assessment of damaged houses, a total of 1,685 houses have been destroyed with 130 totally damaged and 1,555 partially damaged.

DSWD Sec. Judy M. Taguiwalo calls on the residents of Surigao City to be on alert for the threats of possible aftershocks and to heed all warnings of their LGUs. Moreover, she advised the public to be vigilant and to know what they need to do in the event of an earthquake.

“Para sa ating lahat naman po, balik-aralan ang mga dapat gawing hakbang para maging ligtas pag tumama ang lindol (For everyone, let us review the steps that we need to take so we can be safe when an eartquake strikes),” Sec. Taguiwalo said. (DSWD)