Responding to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s directive to provide immediate aid to flood-stricken areas, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) distributed a total of P88 million in assistance to communities affected by flash floods in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.
The assistance came in the form of food, non-food, and emergency cash aid to affected communities, Undersecretary Edu Punay, the Officer-in-Charge of DSWD, said in a media forum on Saturday.
This was as the number of people who died across the country because of recent floods rose to 20, the state disaster monitoring agency said on Saturday.
Thousands of families in Eastern Visayas have evacuated due to the flooding and landslides brought by rains from the persistent low-pressure area and the shear line, authorities added.
Over a hundred people were affected by waist-deep floods in Matalam, Cotabato, with some locals needing to be rescued by boat while others choosing to wait for the waters to recede.
“At this point po, we now have 378 evacuation centers still existing in those regions with 102,500 individuals there,” Punay pointed out.
Despite the challenging situation, he said the DSWD still has P1.2 billion available stockpiles and quick response funds (QRF) ready for disposal.
The DSWD, he said, recorded 1.8 million individuals affected by flood and heavy rains in Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Northern Mindanao, suffering from more than three weeks of flooding since Christmas Day
President Marcos flew to Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental on Wednesday to assess the situation there and extend assistance to affected families.
Authorities said the convergence of three weather systems in the same areas—Eastern Visayas and Northern Mindanao resulted in the incessant rains.
A shear line weather on Christmas Day, followed by the northeast monsoon and several low pressure areas, which brought heavy rains, drenched those regions.