TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already released PHP168.05 million worth of assistance to families affected by recent floods and landslides in Samar provinces.
In a report released Tuesday, the DSWD regional office in Eastern Visayas said the amount spent as of Dec. 4, 2023 covers the cost of 214,402 family food packs (FFPs) provided to families affected by the bad weather.
DSWD regional information officer Jonalyndie Chua said in a phone interview that they have completed the distribution of FFPs in provinces outside Northern Samar areas affected by the low-pressure area and shear line.
“As of Dec. 4, we have already delivered food packs to 89 percent of the target 219,764 families. The delivery of augmented FFPs and assorted non-food items (NFIs) for the first round is ongoing. We are waiting for the result of the assessment to find out if we need to release a second round of assistance to affected households,” Chua added.
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, Rosario, San Roque, San Antonio, San Isidro, San Jose, San Roque, San Vicente, Silvino Lubos and Victoria in Northern Samar.
Other recipients are from 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.
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.
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 has to 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 over 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.
As of Dec. 4, at least 18,835 individuals remained in evacuation centers in Northern Samar and Eastern Samar provinces.
Massive floods destroyed some 57 houses and partially damaged 249 other houses.
The unprecedented 618 millimeters of rainfall in 24 hours, or an equivalent to nearly six weeks' volume of rainfall in a single day, led to the heavy floods experienced in Northern Samar in the third week of November. (PNA)