By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
MANILA – The national government and its partners have so far distributed PHP275 million worth of assistance to families severely affected by two typhoons that also enhanced the southwest monsoon, bringing a significant amount of rainfall for over two weeks.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Social Welfare Director Michael Christopher Mathay said on Saturday the humanitarian aid is a mix of contributions from the agency, local government units, non-government organizations and other partners.
“Regarding typhoons Egay and Falcon, Secretary Rex Gatchalian has fully loaded all badly affected areas in the country with family food packs,” he said during the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City.
Mathay said the agency has provided emergency cash transfers to allow the most affected families to buy necessities, including medicines. A cash-for-work initiative has also been implemented.
Meanwhile, DSWD has around PHP2.2 billion worth of available quick respond fund and relief resources, including food and non-food items such as family food packs; kitchen, hygiene and sleeping kits; and clothing.
Mathay said more than 5,000 villages in Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western, Eastern, and Central Visayas, Davao region, Soccsksargen, and Cordillera have so far received humanitarian assistance.
“Mayroon rin tayong early recovery, cash grants, para sa mga nasiraan ng bahay para matulungan natin silang bumangon muli. Ang DSWD ay 24/7 na tumutulong sa ating mga kababayan (We also have early recovery, cash grant for those whose houses were damaged by the calamities. The DSWD is helping 24/7),” he said.
The agency is likewise providing psycho-social support to persons and families in different evacuation centers under DSWD’s Management Camp Coordination Program.
“Mayroon tayong mga social worker na tumutugon sa mga problemang ganyan, not only physically, but mentally (We have social workers who are helping with concerns like those, not only physically, but mentally),” Mathay said. (PNA)