By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has so far extended P32.8 million worth of assistance to families affected by the eruption of Mayon Volcano.
DSWD OIC Secretary Emmanuel Leyco assured that relief operations will continue until such time that there are families staying in evacuation centers and may even extend up to their eventual return to their places of origin as part of the recovery phase.
To date, DSWD has provided a total of P32,833,008.72 worth of augmentation assistance to the affected local government units (LGUs).
This includes 50,095 family food packs amounting to P20,007,818 and nonfood items (malong, assorted toys, dignity kits, and blankets) worth P12,825,190.72 to the provincial government and to the affected cities and municipalities of Ligao, Tabaco, Legazpi, Guinobatan, Malilipot, Bacacay, Sto. Domingo, Daraga and Camalig.
“We have been working very tightly with the provincial and local government units since Albay ordered the evacuation of evacuees, providing them with technical assistance in relation to camp coordination and management, safeguarding the welfare of the evacuees, and generation and consolidation of disaster response operations and monitoring reports daily,” Leyco said.
“In fact, we already have a plan in place on how we will support the evacuees for 100 days and afterwards. We have many program beneficiaries among those forced to evacuate because of Mayon’s volcanic activities, and we are prepared to continue supporting them even as we also work hard to address the immediate needs of the rest of the evacuees,” he added.
Furthermore, DSWD-Bicol Region Director Arnel Garcia said the agency can provide food for 20,000 families for 100 days if the need arises.
He said the regional office has sufficient stock of food packs at the regional warehouse and is still expecting the arrival of 26,824 additional food packs from the DSWD Central Office.
It has also requested another 1,000,000 family food packs worth P402,000,000 to address the food requirement of the affected families if the disaster operations continue for another three months.
Nonfood items like dignity kits, malong, plastic mats, and mosquito nets amounting to P206,808,768 are also expected to arrive at the field office anytime.
DSWD has also allotted a total of P61,973,000 for the cash-for-work program’s implementation.
The funds will be downloaded to the LGUs once they have completed all the documentary requirements, including the submission of the project proposals and the sangguniang bayan resolutions.