By Zaldy De Layola

AFTERMATH. Personnel of the city social welfare office visit the site of the fire that razed at least 300 houses in Barangay Leon Garcia in Davao City’s Agdao District at about 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday (Dec. 27, 2023). They gathered the names of the victims who will receive immediate relief aid from the government. (PNA photo by Robinson Niñal Jr.) 

MANILA – Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian directed Davao Regional Director Vanessa Goc-Ong to provide immediate assistance to the more than 300 families affected by the fire that razed houses at Purok San Vicente, Barangay Leon Garcia in Davao City on Wednesday morning.

As of press time, Director Goc-Ong has been closely coordinating with the Davao City local government unit (LGU) for the provision of resource augmentation to address the needs of the affected families.

Based on initial reports gathered by the DSWD Field Office-11 (Davao Region), some 357 families or 1,428 individuals were affected by the fire.

Personnel from the DSWD Field Office are now on the ground interviewing the affected families to validate the actual number of individuals.

DSWD Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Irene Dumlao, who is also the agency’s data privacy officer and co-spokesperson, said the DSWD, through its Field Office-11 is ready to assist, when necessary, the LGU in meeting the food and other needs of the fire survivors.

“In keeping with the directive of Secretary Gatchalian to ensure that those affected by disasters and emergencies should be immediately assisted, the Field Office is now preparing various relief supplies such as family food packs and other non-food items to augment the resources of the LGU,” Dumlao said.

At present, the DSWD Davao Regional office has more than PHP86 million worth of stockpiles of relief supplies and standby funds ready to be used for disaster operations. (PNA)