Over 18,000 Haiyan survivors flock to Manila

This is based on recent data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development

DISPLACED. About 195 persons affected by typhoon Yolanda from Samar and Leyte arrive at the Navotas fishport aboard a Philippine Navy vessel Nov 29, 2013. Photo by Rappler/Jose Del

MANILA, Philippines – Some 18,016 displaced people or 4,352 families in Haiyan-hit islands Samar and Leyte flocked to Manila on board the government’s C-130 flights from November 16 to 29, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a radio interview on Sunday, December 1.

Coloma, who cited latest data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), said that of the total number, 3,042 families have been assisted by Oplan Hatid, an effort that gives free transportation for survivors from the Villamor Airbase to as far away as Baguio City.

“The rest of the families are staying in a tent city set up in Pasay, public health centers in Manila and NGOs and LGUs who adopted them,” Coloma added in Filipino.

When Super Typhoon Haiyan swept through Visayas, it destroyed billions worth of infrastructure, damaged an estimated 1.1 million houses and displaced 3.43 million people, according to government estimates as of November 25. (Read: UNCHR, IOM provide emergency shelter for Haiyan survivors)

Rehabilitation initiatives

DSWD recently launched the “Adopt-a-family” or “Host-a-family” initiative, where families from Metro Manila can give temporary shelter and care to families from Eastern Visayas who were affected by Haiyan.

Coloma said DSWD will assign social workers to screen the families and individuals who will take in the affected families with no relatives in Metro Manila.

Coloma added that DSWD is continuously holding stress debriefing and trauma therapy for the typhoon victims.

“This process is very important. Even the children who are being sent back to school will undergo stress debriefing,” he added in Filipino.

He said even officials, soldiers and police who were on ground zero when Haiyan struck will be pulled out and given a debriefing.

“In order for them to be effective, they need to have enough rest. They will be replaced by fresh reserves – soldiers, police and government employees who are able to do their duty,” Coloma concluded in Filipino. – Rappler.com

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