DSWD Sec. Taguiwalo flies to Leyte to oversee relief ops for quake-affected families

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Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo today flew to Ormoc City, Leyte to monitor the ongoing relief operations of the Department for the families affected by the 6.5-magnitude earthquake that struck the province on July 9.

Sec. Taguiwalo together with Assistant Director Carlos Padolina met with DSWD-Field Office (FO) VIII Regional Director Restituto Macuto and the FO’s disaster response team to discuss the provision of assistance to families and individuals taking shelter in the identified evacuation centers (ECs) in the city and in the Municipality of Kananga and those staying with their relatives and friends, as well as the management of evacuation camp and the provision of technical assistance to the social workers responding to the disaster.

The Secretary also visited the affected residents at Barangays Lake Danao and Milagro who set up tents in an open field for fear of possible aftershocks.

As of 3PM today, the tremor has affected a total of 5,352 families or 26,760 persons in 20 barangays in Ormoc and Kananga.

Some 2,057 families or 10,246 persons are staying in 22 identified evacuation centers, while 1,157 families or 5,953 individuals are staying outside the evacuation centers with their relatives or friends.

The Department, through its FO VIII, continues to extend aid to the affected families and individuals. On July 11, the field office provided P5,000 financial assistance to Dionisio Diaz, 60, and Arlene Jagdon, 46, both residents of Barangay Cabaon-an, Ormoc City, who are among the 33 injured individuals admitted to the hospital. Both were recently released from Clinica Gatchalian in Ormoc.

Aside from said financial aid, DSWD also attended to their medical needs. Same benefits were also given to the rest of the individuals who were sent to hospitals for medical attention.

To date, the DSWD has provided a total of P4,178,910.78 worth of food and non-food items to the affected families.

Meanwhile, Sec. Taguiwalo continues to call on the public to always be ready, as disasters like the recent quake, may strike anytime.

“Mga kababayan, lagi tayong maging handa laban sa mga kalamidad. Permanente nang dadalawin ng iba’t-ibang klaseng kalamidad ang ating mga pamayanan at bansa: kailangan lumakas at tumibay ang ating mga kakayanan na harapin ang mga ito para makabangon tayo agad at matiyak na hindi lumalala ang ating mga kundisyon sa buhay(I call on our fellow citizens to always be on guard, as our country is prone to natural disasters. We need to be ready to face these calamities so we can bounce back to our normal lives faster),” Sec. Taguiwalo said.

Continuing assistance for Marawi IDPs

As the DSWD assists the quake-affected families in Leyte, it also continues to extend aid to internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Marawi City and several municipalities in Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte who have been affected by the still ongoing armed operation against the Maute group.

To date, the Department has augmented a total of 201,000 family food packs (FFPs) to assist internally displaced persons (IDPs) since the start of the conflict.

The FFPs were augmented by the DSWD- Field Offices from Regions IX, XI, XII and CARAGA, and the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) and the Visayas Disaster Response Center (VDRC) which both used the mechanized production system to fast-track the preparations of FFPs.

Currently, an additional 12,000 and 5,100 food packs are in transit to responding DSWD FOs in Regions X and XII, respectively.

Meanwhile, as the July 15 deadline for the sanitized master list of all IDPs approaches, more volunteers are now encoding Disaster Assistance Family Access Card (DAFAC) entries to remove double entries and provide a more accurate data on the number of families who will receive further interventions.

Sec. Taguiwalo confirmed that there are now reported IDPs staying in Zamboanga Region and are now receiving assistance from DSWD FO IX.

She also said that the Department is constantly sending teams to reach out to home-based IDPs who have not yet received any assistance and to conduct monitoring visits to evacuation centers. “Our response units are continuously engaging with our counterparts at the local level and with other national agencies to effectively monitor the condition of our kababayans as we prepare and plan for the early recovery and rehabilitation phase for the locals displaced by the armed conflict,” said Sec. Taguiwalo