53K typhoon-affected families in Siargao get aid

About 53,222 families directly hit by Typhoon Odette in Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte were provided with relief packages.

In a statement Thursday, Surigao del Norte 1st District Rep. Francisco Jose Matugas II said 80,921 relief packages have been released to residents of nine municipalities on the island.

The relief packages, composed of food and non-food items, were provided by various government agencies, local government units (LGUs), government officials, and the private sector.

Cash assistance has been channeled to distressed residents of Siargao starting this week, particularly from the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The DSWD 13 (Caraga) initiated the AICS distribution in the town of Dapa in Siargao Island on December 28, covering about 3,500 typhoon-affected individuals who received PHP5,000 each.

“Logistical issues varying in each place once set back the distribution rates. But we have hurdled those issues and stepped up the distribution,” Matugas said.

He also lauded the various groups from the public and private sectors that continue to assist the people of Siargao, especially during difficult times.

“Gratitude to the relief workers, transport partners, donors, and municipal and provincial LGUs for your big hearts. The road to recovery is long, but with you, plus the strength of Surigaonons, hope remains,” Matugas said.

“Odette”, considered this year’s strongest typhoon, made landfall in Siargao on December 16, devastating the lives of thousands of the island’s residents.

In Siargao Island alone, the initial record from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office indicated that as of December 28, a total of 35,844 families, or 93,846 individuals, was directly affected by the typhoon.

The data is still being completed as reports on the actual damage in the island continued to come in as of press time.

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