MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The social welfare department is working double time to provide relief assistance to families affected by Tropical Depression Urduja (Kai-tak).
In a 3 pm update on Monday, December 18, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said a total of P2,092,777.16 worth of assistance had been provided to affected families and individuals. The P867,762.16 came from DSWD while the P1,225,015 came from affected local government units (LGUs).
In a news briefing in Biliran, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced that at least 31 died and 49 others are missing. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, citing data from the DSWD, also said 44,369 families had fled to 608 evacuation centers in Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, and Caraga. (READ: #ReliefPH: Help victims of Urduja)
“We are constantly communicating and coordinating with local government units and all units of the NDRMMC to ensure that the affected regions receive the assistance they need,” said DSWD Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel Leyco, who flew to Biliran with other Cabinet members.
DSWD said it had prepositioned family food packs in LGUs forecasted to be on Typhoon Urduja’s path. The department’s regional offices are also on standby to repack goods. (READ: LOOK: Urduja pummels Tacloban City)
Field offices in Eastern Visayas has been processing the procurement of additional 50,000 family food packs to be distributed to the affected residents in the region. They already sent food packs and non-food items, including malongs, hygiene kits, and clothing to the affected cities and municipalities in Samar and Tacloban City in Leyte as initial assistance. (READ: LOOK: Not even storm Urduja can stop these newlyweds in Eastern Samar)
The DSWD said a total of 22,500 goods have been prepositioned in affected areas in the Bicol region. (READ: LOOK: Bicol braces for Urduja)
In Central Visayas, some 8,000 food packs has been prepositioned in different warehouses. These are in Dumanjug, Madredejos, Pilar, Poro, Tabogon, San Francisco, and Toledo in Cebu. Some 30,000 food packs are on standby in the DSWD field office warehouse in Barangay Tingob, Mandaue City.
Arnel Garcia, DSWD regional director in Bicol, said his office provided P422,100 in assistance to affected families, including stranded passengers, in Matnog, Sorsogon. They were also given at least 1,050 family food packs.
LGUs spent P319,565 on hot meals for stranded passengers.
He said DSWD Bicol has stockpile of 5,118 food packs in its warehouse, over and above the provision for prepositioning to LGUs.
The DSWD remains on red alert and is continuously coordinating with its field offices in the regions for significant reports on the status of relief efforts and assistance needed by those affected by the storm.
NFA rice supplies
The National Food Authority (NFA) has also distributed 10,464 bags of rice to LGUs affected by Urduja. These are broken down across different regions:
- 2,900 in Eastern Samar
- 3,682 in Northern Samar
- 170 in Biliran, Northern Leyte
“The agency’s rice inventory is more than enough to supply relief operations in the affected areas,” NFA Administrator Jason L. Y. Aquino said, adding that the affected regions have at least 1,139,621 bags, or 56,981 metric tons (MT) of rice pre-positioned in all its warehouses in preparation for any calamity or emergency.
The administrator also said that the NFA will be operational even during the holidays to serve the affected areas. – with a report from Rhaydz Barcia/Rappler.com
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