Philippines: DSWD contines to assist mudflow evacuees

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Social Welfare and Development Secretary Esperanza I. Cabral said that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to assist 187 families or 754 persons who are still staying inside evacuation centers.

As of October 23, three (3) evacuation centers remain open to provide temporary shelter to the family-evacuees. These are located in Gallanosa National High School which serves 134 families or 521 persons; Old Casa Building with 18 families or 70 persons; and Barangay Mapaso Barangay Hall with 35 families or 163 persons.

Evacuees from barangays Monbon and Mapaso who initially planned to return to their places of origin were advised instead to stay at the evacuation centers during nightime to ensure their safety.

Secretary Cabral said that DSWD Region V has provided relief assistance to the victims amounting to P183,426.45 since the occurrence of the incident on October 16. The assistance is on top of the goods and donations from different government organizations and non-government organizations.

Secretary Cabral added that the DSWD has sufficient standby funds and stockpile of relief goods consisting of food and non-food items worth approximately P20.2 milion for augmentation assistance upon request of concerned local government units.

Secretary Cabral has also ordered the Quick Response Team and stress debriefers of DSWD-Region V to maintain close coordination with the affected local government units and to be on alert status for any eventuality.

Meanwhile, alert level 1 remains in effect over Mt. Bulusan. Residents were advised not to enter the four-kilometer radius permanent danger zone (PDZ) because of sudden hazardous explosions.

Likewise, residents in areas beyond the PDZ but residing near river channels around the volcano should also be on alert against life hazardous lahar during heavy rains which might loosen volcanic deposits from the upper slopes of the volcano.