DSWD provides P39.9 M worth of aid to families affected by ‘Urduja’

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has so far provided a total of P39,927,848.80 worth of assistance to families and individuals affected by Tropical Depression ‘Urduja’ through the local government units (LGUs) in Regions V, VI, VII, VIII, MIMAROPA and CARAGA.

Of this amount, P35,560,766.64 was allotted to Eastern Visayas for the relief operation in the affected provinces of Biliran; Leyte; and, Eastern, Northern, and Western Samar, which experienced the worst effects of the tropical depression. Residents in the affected cities and municipalities in the provinces experienced severe flooding, landslides, and power interruption. The weather disturbance has also damaged a bridge and several roads and houses in the region.

Meanwhile, LGUs in affected areas have provided a total of P1,253,575.00, bringing the total combined worth of assistance provided to the affected families to P41,181,423.80.

The DSWD and its Field Offices (FOs) have been working closely with the affected LGUs for the continuous provision of relief assistance to the affected families, especially those in hardest-hit areas.

DSWD Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel A. Leyco said that the Department is intensifying its relief operations to respond to the needs of the affected individuals.

“The NROC will be on 24/7 shift to produce 479,000 food packs this December to respond to those affected by ‘Urduja’ and in preparation for the possible effects of yet another weather disturbance which may soon enter the country, as well as to satisfy the remaining requirements of Field Office XII as it continues to respond to Marawi crisis,” OIC Leyco said.

The Officer-in-Charge stated that the Department will prioritize the daily production of 200,000 family food packs (FFPs) for Tacloban City until Dec 23. He said the World Food Programme has committed to transport the food packs to the city.

Meanwhile, the Department’s field office in Region VIII, which is responding to the needs of the affected residents in severely-hit Eastern Visayas, had asked the LGUs to immediately submit damage reports for the prompt provision of augmentation support as it moves to the second round of relief distribution.

DSWD-FO VIII has released more than 17,000 food packs, while 37,736 FFPs were allocated to affected areas that submitted their reports. The field office has a stockpile of 98,000 FFPs.

Yesterday, DSWD-FO VI released 227 family food packs to affected residents in the region. Of which, 40 FFPs were used to feed stranded passengers bound for Cebu, Manila, and Cagayan; while 187 were dispatched to evacuees in Concepcion, Iloilo.

As of 2 PM today, ‘Urduja’ has affected a total of 244,301 families or 1,016,560 individuals in 1,679 barangays in the Bicol Region; Eastern, Western, and Central Visayas; MIMAROPA; and, CARAGA.

Some 11,670 families or 53,448 individuals are still staying in 365 open evacuation centers in Regions V, VIII, and MIMAROPA, the bulk of which is located in Region VIII, while 17,557 families or 47,791 persons evacuated to their families’ and friends’ houses.

To date, evacuation centers in Western Visayas and in the CARAGA Region have been closed.

“We see that Urduja has caused significant damage to life and property. The DSWD will continue to work closely with local government units and other national government agencies to determine the fastest and surest way to assist the affected families,” OIC Leyco said.

“We also appeal to the public to support all efforts to help the families so they can recover as soon as possible. We must all work collectively to ensure that aid reaches those who need it,” he added. ###