RELIEF OPERATION. Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rex Gatchalian (left, wearing red) visits Anislag Evacuation Center in Daraga, Albay on Saturday (June 10, 2023). Gatchalian distributed family food packs to evacuees of Barangay Mi-isi, which is located within the 6-km permanent danger zone of restive Mayon Volcano. (PNA photo by Connie Calipay)

LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assured on Saturday that it can provide food packs to families affected by the ongoing restiveness of Mayon Volcano for at least the next 45 days.

In his visit to Barangay Anislag where he led the distribution of family food packs, Secretary Rex Gatchalian said he was instructed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos to ensure the preparedness of the department to assist families who were evacuated from the Mayon’s 6-kilometer (km) radius permanent danger zone.

“Instructed by President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos na siguraduhin na ang preparation ng gobyerno lalo na ng DSWD ay in place (to ensure that the preparation of the government especially by DSWD is in place),” Gatchalian said during a press briefing.

He said there are about 102,000 family food packs (FFP) that have been positioned in Bicol and neighboring provinces and are ready for distribution, good for the next 45 days.

“There are 60,000 in Albay and the 42,000 FFPs are in neighboring provinces that we can easily pull out. We are still stockpiling so it is easy to get. The DSWD is ready to make sure the needs will be supplied in terms of food by affected evacuees and residents. The President’s instruction is to ensure that no one is hungry in different evacuations,” he said.

Data from the Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office showed 4,390 families or 16,823 individuals from nine municipalities namely, Camalig, Daraga, Guinobatan, Ligao City, Malilipot, Tabaco City, Sto. Domingo, Bacacay and Legazpi City, are affected.

Another 40,000 individuals are set to be evacuated from the 7-km extended danger zone if Mayon's status is escalated to Alert Level 4.

One DSWD family food pack contains six kilos of rice, four tin cans of corned beef, four tin cans of sardines and six packs of energy drink or coffee, sufficient for a family of five for two days. (PNA)