MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Social and Welfare Development (DSWD) is calling out for volunteers to help with the repacking of relief goods for typhoon victims.
DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman said they are looking for anyone who wants to help, but asked that they wait until the floods subside because the area around the DSWD headquarters is still flooded.
"At first we didn't ask for volunteers for repacking but since it's gotten worse [we are now asking for volunteers]," she told DZMM in a radio interview on Tuesday, August 20.
Soliman said there is no shortage of supplies, but she said they are anticipating more demand and will need help with packing.
According to her, DSWD currently has 50,000 food packs, some of which are already on their way to the hardest hit areas. Of their supplies, 10,000 will be brought to Region III, particularly Pampanga; 5,000 will be delivered to Region IV-A in Cavite and Laguna; and another 5,000 will be distributed around Metro Manila.
As of publication time, DSWD said 199 evacuation centers are open nationwide, and are now serving 9,153 families or 40,740 persons. Soliman said private trucks are helping DSWD deliver the goods to wherever they can.
"We have more than enough [supplies] and we are coordinating with private trucks to volunteer, others for gas, to help bring the supplies because the military trucks are primarily used for rescue right now," she said.
According to DSWD, the total humanitarian aid is now pegged at P4.5-million from the combined resources of DSWD (39.7%), local government units (60%,) and other government offices and non-government organizations (.03%).
The DSWD is also coordinating with the World Food Programme, the food assistance branch of the United Nations, for energy biscuits for kids and seniors.
More than 600,000 people are now affected by the combined effects of tropical storm Maring (international codename Trami) and the southwest monsoon, as the toll reaches 7, the National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council (NDRRMC) said in its midmorning briefing Tuesday.
The additional fatalities were reported in Bataan (1) and Pampanga (3), all due to drowning. The previous NDRRMC report only had 3 people killed due to the severe weather conditions.
The number of injured people is still at 11, and 4 are still missing.
A total of 125,024 families (601,104 people) have been affected in regions I, III, IV-A, the National Capital Region, and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). The bulk of the affected citizens reside in Regions III and IV-A, the NDRRMC said.