DSWD sends additional relief aid to quake-affected families in Batangas

QUEZON CITY-- Disaster teams from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are not taking a Holy Week break as they remain on duty to monitor the situation and extend additional relief assistance to families affected by the 6.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Batangas and other provinces of CALABARZON on April 8.

Kahit na Holy Week, tuloy-tuloy ang ating paghatid ng dagdag na tulong sa mga kababayan nating naapektuhan ng lindol sa Batangas, lalo na sa bayan ng Tingloy na pinakanaapektuhan ng kalamidad. Sa ngayon, nangangailangan ang mga residente ng pagkain at malinis na maiinom na tubig (Even if it is Holy Week, we continue to provide additional assistance to residents affected by the strong earthquake in Batangas, especially in the town of Tingloy, which was the hardest-hit among the municipalities in the province. The residents need food and clean drinking water), said DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo who flew to Tingloy yesterday to check on the situation of the quake victims.

Sec. Taguiwalo said that the Department augmented additional 5,000 boxes of family food packs (FFPs) to the local government of Tingloy. The FFPs will be ferried by the ten boats rented and paid by the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and will be distributed to 15 affected barangays in the municipality. Excess food packs will be stockpiled and used for Food-for-Work program.

She also added that DSWD FO CALABARZON will facilitate the delivery of 600 pieces of six-liter bottled water from Maynilad and Alagang Kapatid to the town today, together with another 350 pieces of six-liter bottled water from other donors; and jerry cans and water purification tablets from the Department of Health.

An additional 1,500 food packs will be transported to affected residents in Mabini, she said.

As of today's latest report, a total of 5,751 families or 25,289 persons in the province are still taking shelter in 66 evacuation centers at night, while 729 families or 3,560 persons chose to stay with relatives or friends.

The number of damaged houses has increased to 3,263 of which, 568 are totally damaged, while 2,695 are partially damaged.

The DSWD field office CALABARZON is continuously coordinating with the Provincial Quick Response Team (PQRT) of Batangas for the assessment of the affected families and the provision of appropriate intervention; and for the validation of damaged houses in the municipalities of Tingloy, Bauan, San Nicolas, Batangas City,Lipa City, Taal, Lemery, San Pascual, San Luis, Agoncillo and Mabini.

Updates on relief assistance to Lanao del Sur

Meanwhile, DSWD Field Offices in Regions X, XI, and XII have started to conduct assessment and validation of families affected by a separate 6.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Mindanao yesterday.

The quake's epicenter was located at Wao, Lanao del Sur; it was felt at varying intensities in several provinces in Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, SOCCSKSARGEN, and ARMM.

Led by Regional Director Sarah Taha, staff from DSWD FO XII has visited Barangays Panang, Serran, and Balatin in Wao to check on the status of the affected families.

According to initial reports from the FO, four barangays were affected in the region; while 30 houses, two mosques, and the national road in Panang got damaged.

Patients from the upper floor of a hospital were evacuated to the ground floor during the tremor, which also caused power interruption in the municipality.

Dir. Taha also conducted a dialogue today with Wao Mayor Bobby Balicao; Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers Hilda Vidal and Francis Garcia; and Municipal Engineer Erwin Pamplona to find out the extent of the damage in the municipality and to determine assistance needed.

On the other hand, staff from DSWD FO X carried out an operational survey of Kalilangan, Bukidnon, together with the local government unit (LGU) of the municipality (nearest LGU of Wao, Lanao Del Sur) and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO).

The FO has initially reported one partially damaged building and several slightly damaged houses, but no displacement of families except the admitted patients in a hospital who stayed temporarily outside the building for fear of aftershocks.

There is still no electricity in some areas in the town due to a fallen electric post.

In Region X, there were no reported damaged houses and affected families in Davao City and Davao Oriental, as per the report of DSWD Field Office.

Regions X, XI, and XII have total standby funds and stockpile amounting to P30,268,310.84; P15,436,254.90; and P19,482,298.47, respectively, ready to be used for the provision of relief assistance to the affected families, if needed.

DSWD disaster teams maintain close coordination with concerned LGUs for significant updates on the disaster.

Source: Philippines Information Agency