By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has assured earthquake victims in hard-to-reach villages of Makilala, North Cotabato of continuous delivery of relief assistance.
The municipality of Makilala is one of the hard-to-reach areas following landslides that occurred in some barangays due to the series of earthquakes in Central and Southern Mindanao.
A total of 20,704 families or 103,520 individuals from the 38 barangays of Makilala have been affected by the earthquake, while more than 20,000 houses in the town have been damaged.
DSWD-SOCCSKSARGEN said that based on the report of the North Cotabato provincial government, residents from barangays Malasila, Kisante, and Old Bulatokan who were appealing for assistance along the highway have already been provided with relief assistance.
Likewise, Barangay Luayon which could not be reached through land travel due to landslide has received relief assistance through airdrop on board a helicopter by the Philippine Air Force.
So far, a total of P1.4 million worth of assistance has already been provided to the affected families in the town.
“We assure our kababayans in Makilala that help is on the way. We are looking for the fastest way possible to deliver assistance, especially in areas isolated due to landslides,” DSWD-SOCCSKSARGEN Director Joel Espejo said.
DSWD field offices in Central and Southern Mindanao continued their relief operations over the weekend reaching out to more quake-affected families and individuals.
So far, P4.2 million worth of assistance has been provided to 28,656 families or 143,280 individuals in North Cotabato, while P2.07 million was released to 6,984 families or 34,920 persons from Davao Del Sur.
Aside from relief distribution, DSWD workers assist LGUs in managing the 30 evacuation centers, which are providing temporary shelter to 4,362 families or 21,810 persons from the affected regions.
Social workers also conduct psychosocial counseling for adults and play therapy for children in evacuation centers. These are interventions to help them cope with their traumatic experience.
To ensure that only legitimate evacuees are served, DSWD social workers have issued family access cards to families identified by LGUs as quake victims.
The access card entitles a family to receive relief and other forms of assistance.
To ensure the smooth coordination for donations in kind, DSWD said interested donors for quake-affected families may go through the local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council or at the incident command posts prior to the distribution of goods.