Govt sets P206-m food aid

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development  announced Monday that it will provide P206.36 million in augmentation assistance to 27 local government units hit by Typhoon “Nina.”

Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said the assistance covers food and non-food items, consisting of 580,857 family food packs, 2,459 ready-to-eat meals, 1,585 malongs, 885 mosquito nets, 885 blankets, and 585 dignity kits (towels, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, feminine napkins and others).

This assistance is on top of the goods that have been pre-positioned to the LGUs, she said.

Aside from the supplies, the DSWD will also provide a mobile communications vehicle and high-speed Internet service to the Response Cluster Operations Center at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to facilitate speedy monitoring of the situation in affected areas.

As of 5 a.m. on Monday, the DSWD-Disaster Response Operations, Monitoring and Information Center reported that a total of 22,676 families or 95,774 persons from 291 barangays in the Mimaropa, Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions have been affected.

Of the figure, 20,624 families or 87,157 persons were staying in 310 evacuation centers set up and managed by LGUs.

Some 16,106 passengers were stranded in various seaports in the Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions.

The department’s field office in Bicol has provided an initial assistance of more than P6 million to the LGUs—P1.6 million for Albay; P3.1 million for Camarines Sur; and P1.4 million for Sorsogon.

Taguiwalo said they have enough relief supplies to respond to the needs of affected families.

“To the affected families, you may approach your LGUs. Goods have already been pre-positioned to them,” she said.

She said that DSWD disasters teams on the ground continue to assist and coordinate with LGUs in disaster relief operations and in managing evacuation centers. 

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, meanwhile, instructed concerned units and agencies to immediately restore power to the communities hit by the weather disturbance specifically in Southern Luzon and the Bicol region.

“This is another super typhoon, we’ve prepared for it and we are currently on the ground to assess the damage and quickly restore compromised energy facilities in each province,” Cusi said.

Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella on Monday went to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ overall command and monitoring center and the National Electrification Administration to facilitate coordination on the rehabilitation efforts and set deadlines for the ground assessment of damaged energy facilities.

“The DoE and its partners in the energy sector will deploy restoration teams for the speedy recovery of power to the affected towns and provinces,” Fuentebella said.

Acting chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority, Thomas Orbos, ordered the agency’s disaster team to prepare for rescue operations in areas affected by the typhoon.

Orbos, who also heads the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said the MMDA’s personnel and equipment are ready for immediate deployment to address any eventuality.

The disaster team includes personnel from Road Emergency, Communications, Flood Control and Traffic Groups while dump trucks, rubber and wooden boats, and other equipment have been prepared for deployment.

“Two hundred MMDA rescue personnel, five military trucks, eight ambulances are now on standby and ready to respond to emergency incidents,” said Orbos.

The MMDA public information office also noted that 12 rubber boats and personnel already prepositioned at flood-prone areas while six flood gates of Manggahan were already opened in anticipation of massive flooding.

It added that outdoor advertisers have been asked by the agency to roll down billboards as early as Saturday to prevent any untoward incidents.   

“Our traffic enforcers can be converted to rescuers if and when the need arises,” said Orbos. 

The agency urged building contractors to secure their cranes and other equipment to prevent any accident.

The 17 local government units in Metro Manila are already on a standby and continue monitoring the situation.

In its 3 p.m. advisory Monday, the MMDA said signal number 2 was raised over Metro Manila, which was expecting heavy rainfall by the late afternoon.

Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday appealed for help and donations for areas affected by Typhoon “Nina” while on her US trip.

In her Facebook page, Robredo said the Office of the Vice President was ready to accept assistance for victims of “Nina” that pounded the Bicol region, including Camarines Sur, her home province.

Topics: Department of Social Welfare and Development , augmentation assistance , local government units , Typhoon “Nina” , food aid , Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo
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