FOOD AID. A volunteer carries a box of family food packs for distribution in an isolated village in Bontoc, Southern Leyte. At least 19,746 family food packs have been distributed to families in Eastern Visayas badly affected by Tropical Storm Paeng, the Department of Social Welfare and Development reported on Wednesday (Nov. 2, 2022). (Photo courtesy of DSWD Region 8)

TACLOBAN CITY – At least 19,746 family food packs (FFPs) have been distributed to families in Eastern Visayas (Region 8) badly affected by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported on Wednesday.

DSWD regional information officer Jonalyndie Chua said in a phone interview PHP12.71 million worth of FFPs were delivered to 14 towns and two cities in the provinces of Northern Samar, Leyte, Eastern Samar, Southern Leyte, and Biliran affected by the weather disturbance.

Of the 19,746 FFPs released by DSWD as of Tuesday night, 3,400 were delivered to Lope De Vega town, 613 in Rosario, and 123 in Catarman in Northern Samar province; 2,000 in Jipapad and 1,500 in Oras in Eastern Samar; 6,450 in Bato, 3,900 in Hilongos, 707 in Hindang, 700 in Ormoc City, 700 in Inopacan, 514 in Baybay City, and 169 in Mahaplag in Leyte; 742 in Bontoc and 137 in Limasawa in Southern Leyte; 204 in Naval and 200 in Kawayan in Biliran province.

“One of the recipients of FFPs distribution is Hitawos village in Bontoc town, one of the four villages in Bontoc isolated due to damage access road,” Chua added.

Each FFP, costing PHP500, contains six kilograms of rice, four cans of corned beef, two cans of tuna flakes, two cans of sardines, five sachets of coffee, and five sachets of energy drink.

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.

The DSWD has been coordinating with other members of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to fast-track the distribution of post-disaster aid.

In the region, the DSWD has a stockpile of 25,843 FFPs prepared for rainy days. (PNA)