TACLOBAN CITY – Some 200,000 family food packs will be released in Northern Samar next week as part of the Department of Social Welfare and Development's (DSWD) immediate response after the massive flooding in the province recently.
Jonalyndie Chua, DSWD Eastern Visayas regional information officer, said on Friday they are fast-tracking the delivery to local government units (LGUs) badly affected by the flooding caused by low pressure area and shear line.
“The distribution is the role of local government units already. For releases from DSWD to LGUs - it's a concerted effort of the whole government approach,” Chua said in a phone interview.
As of November 30, some 101,703 FFPs have been delivered to local governments in Northern Samar.
To include those allotted by DSWD in four other provinces in Eastern Visayas, some 166,417 food packs have been released by the agency.
The DSWD helped families affected by floods in Biri, Bobon, Catarman, Capul, Catubig, Gamay, Lapinig, Las Navas, Lavezares, Palapag, Pambujan, Lope de Vega, Laoang, Mapanas, Mondragon, San Roque, San Antonio, San Isidro, San Jose, San Roque, San Vicente, Silvino Lubos, Victoria in Northern Samar.
Other recipients are from the towns of Arteche, Dolores, Jipapad, Maslog, and Oras in Eastern Samar; Calbayog City, Gandara, San Jorge, and Sta. Margarita in Samar; Naval, Biliran; and Bontoc, Southern Leyte.
The agency has already completed the distribution of FFPs in areas outside of Northern Samar.
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.
Some PHP113.98 million has been spent by the department for food packs and non-food items (NFIs).
The NFIs include sleeping kits, hygiene kits, mosquito nets, laminated sacks, plastic mats, modular tents, and kitchen utensils.
Under the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, the local governments are the first responders, and the DSWD must augment the response efforts after disasters.
The DSWD has been coordinating with other Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council members to fast-track the aid distribution.
The DSWD regional office now maintains more than PHP6.07 million standby funds and at least PHP122.01 million worth of FFPs and NFIs prepositioned in strategic locations.
The floods have affected 609,870 people in 691 villages in Northern Samar, Samar, Eastern Samar, Biliran, and Southern Leyte.
Massive floods destroyed some 57 houses and partially damaged 249 others.
Northern Samar’s heavy floods last week were caused by an unprecedented 618 millimeters of rainfall in 24 hours, or an equivalent to nearly six weeks' volume of rainfall in a single day. (PNA)