RELIEF PACKS. Workers unload food packs meant for provinces in Eastern Visayas outside the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) warehouse in this Dec. 15, 2021 photo. At least 22,311 family food packs have been prepositioned by the DSWD in Eastern Visayas as of early Thursday (Dec. 16) ahead of Typhoon Odette’s landfall. (Photo courtesy of DSWD)

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Eastern Visayas (Region 8) on Thursday prepositioned at least 22,311 family food packs (FFPs) ahead of Typhoon Odette’s landfall.

Of the total FFPs prepared for the weather disturbance, 7,137 are stored at the DSWD regional resource operations center warehouse in Palo, Leyte; 5,000 in Maasin City, Southern Leyte; 3,194 in Allen, Northern Samar; 2,680 in Catbalogan City, Samar; 2,300 in Can-avid, Eastern Samar; 1,900 in Borongan City, Eastern Samar; and 100 in Naval, Biliran.

On top of this, the DSWD has P4.21 million standby funds to boost its post-disaster response to typhoon victims, said DSWD Eastern Visayas Regional Director Grace Subong.

“There is an ongoing production of FFPs with the assistance of our personnel and volunteers. We are producing an average of 2,000 packs daily. Provincial governments have sent trucks to transport these food packs to a safe location in their areas,” Subong told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Each food pack for one family contains rice, canned goods, and coffee.

Storing food packs in different strategic locations before a calamity will allow the DSWD to immediately respond to requests of local government units
Under the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, the local governments are the first responders, and the DSWD is tasked to augment the response efforts after disasters.

Meanwhile, the DSWD regional office also activated
its Quick Response Team (QRT) as part of its preparedness measures for the typhoon.

The team is tasked to handle data management, welfare, internally displaced persons, and logistics.

“The QRT is composed of several DSWD staff who will render 24/7 duty at the agency’s Emergency Operations Center. Its function is to constantly monitor the progress of the storm and to coordinate with the field staff and the Local Government Units for information and data gathering,” Subong added.

Aside from the QRT, all DSWD staff are on alert mode and are ready to render duty as the need for augmentation and deployment arises, according to her.

As of 4 a.m. on Thursday, the center of the typhoon was estimated at 265 km. east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, with maximum sustained winds of 165 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 205 kph. It was moving west-northwest at 25 kph. (PNA)