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DSWD chief assures sufficient funds for ‘Egay’ and ‘Habagat’–affected families

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Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian on Wednesday (July 26) assured the public that the DSWD has sufficient funds to augment the resources of local government units (LGUs) affected by Super Typhoon Egay and the Southwest Monsoon.

In an interview on the sidelines of the 2023 Post-SONA discussions, the Secretary said that upon the instruction of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., he ordered all DSWD Field Office (FO) regional directors to be on alert and to monitor the situation in their respective regions and identify the immediate needs of typhoon- affected families.

“Upon the instruction of the President, talagang nakatutok ang aming mga Regional Offices pati na rin ang Central Office. Sisiguraduhin natin na ang mga pangangailangan ng mga biktima, mga pangangailangan na suporta ng ating local government units (LGUs)kung sakaling kapusin sila, kayang-kayang panagutan ng DSWD yan. Handa tayo to step up to the challenge. In fact, as we speak right now, ang ating mga regional directors ay tuloy-tuloy ang koordinasyon sa iba’t ibang gobernador, iba’t ibang mga LGUs,” Secretary Gatchalian said.

(Upon the instruction of the President, our regional offices as well as the Central Office are on alert. We will make sure to provide the needs of the affected families and the local government units in case they are short. We are ready to step up to the challenge. In fact, as we speak right now, our regional directors are continuously coordinating with different governors, different LGUs.)

The DSWD chief said that almost all the regional offices in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao are on the highest alert to make sure that local DSWD personnel can immediately respond to victims of landslides and flooding caused by the heightened Southwest monsoon.

“Uulitin ko lang, hindi lamang nakatuon ang aming atensyon sa Northern Luzon kundi doon rin sa mga lugar na naaapektuhan ng Habagat kasi nahihila nitong bagyo apparently yung Habagat kaya as early as two days ago, mayroon na tayong mga insidente ng pagbabaha sa Occidental Mindoro,” the DSWD chief pointed out.

(Let me repeat, our attention is not only focused on Northern Luzon but also on the areas that are affected by the Southwest Monsoon because this typhoon is apparently pulling the Habagat, so as early as two days ago we already have incidents of flooding in Occidental Mindoro.)

Secretary Gatchalian added: “Kanina nga ay kausap natin ang kanilang gobernador to express na kung kailangan pa nila ng tulong, suporta, at ng logistical support mula sa DSWD, handang-handa tayong tumulong kasi may prepositioned goods din tayo sa Occidental Mindoro.”

(Earlier we talked to their governor to express that if they still need help, support, and logistical support from the DSWD, we are ready to help because we also have prepositioned goods in Occidental Mindoro.)

As of press time, a total of 38,991 families or 154,864 persons in 149 barangays in Regions I (Ilocos Region), II (Cagayan Valley), III (Central Luzon), CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, VI (Western Visayas), VII (Central Visayas), and XII (SOOCCSKSARGEN) have been affected by ‘Egay’ and the Southwest Monsoon.

Some 921 families or 3,211 individuals are currently taking temporary shelter in 51 evacuation centers in the affected regions while the DSWD augmented a total of ₱1,032,464 to the LGUs.

Currently, the DSWD maintains 1.27 million family food packs (FFPs) and Php 1.15 billion worth of other food and non-food items strategically prepositioned in the different warehouses nationwide.

The Department also has an available Php98.86 million in Quick Response Fund (QRF) at the DSWD Central Office.

Another Php 74.21 million worth of funds are available in DSWD regional offices, which may support the relief needs of the families affected by the effects of Southwest monsoon and Super Typhoon “Egay” through inter-FO augmentation.

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