‘Nina’ evacuees start returning home, social welfare dept to continue relief ops

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported Saturday that PHP153,371,593 worth of relief assistance has been provided to families affected by Typhoon Nina in the Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions.

The assistance came from the combined resources of the department, which extended PHP149,285,261; local government units (LGUs), PHP4,005,832; and non-governmental organizations, PHP80,500.

As of 5 a.m. Saturday, 46,798 families or 229,901 persons, were still staying in 280 evacuation centers set up by LGUs in the affected regions.

Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo meanwhile expressed relief upon learning that the number of evacuation centers has decreased.

The decrease indicates that families have already returned to their homes, she said. More than 500 evacuation centers were opened at the height of 'Nina'.

"We are doing our best so that families can already return to their homes to also welcome the new year. I commend our disaster teams who continue to work even during the holidays. DSWD will continue to assist affected families until they are able to return to their normal lives," Taguiwalo said.

Meanwhile, the social welfare chief joined disaster teams on Friday morning as they distributed family food packs in Marinduque province and neighboring towns.

Aside from relief operations, Taguiwalo also joined the aerial inspection of the province.

She then presided over a meeting of the Response Cluster at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and discussed the result of the aerial inspection.

Source: Philippines News Agency