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DSWD chief flies to Laoag City to oversee relief operations; meets with Ilocos Norte governor

DSWD at Laoag City
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian arrives in Laoag City on Friday (July 28) to check on the status of relief operations for the families and individuals affected by Super Typhoon Egay and the enhanced habagat.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian on Friday (July 28) flew to Laoag City to check on the needs of the local government units (LGUs) that were severely affected by Super Typhoon Egay and the enhanced Southwest monsoon.

Upon touchdown at the Laoag City Airport, Secretary Gatchalian immediately met with Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Marcos Manotoc, who briefed him on the current situation in the province, which is now under a state of calamity.

On Thursday, the DSWD Ilocos Regional Office downloaded 10,000 family food packs (FFPs) to the Ilocos Norte provincial government amid the massive flooding and damages caused by ST Egay.

Secretary Gatchalian has directed the Disaster Response and Management Group (DRMG) to use its service providers for the immediate dispatch of the 20,000 boxes of FFPs to Ilocos Region from the stocks at the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) based in Pasay City.

“Let’s dispatch whatever it takes. Have your service providers dispatch now the requested food packs by the concerned regions,” the DSWD chief ordered DRMG Assistant Secretary Marlon Alagao.

On Tuesday, the DSWD-DRMG has successfully dispatched some 17,000 boxes of FFPs to four warehouses in Cagayan, Isabela and Quirino provinces which are under the Cagayan Valley Region that bore the brunt of Super Typhoon Egay.

DSWD at Laoag City
Sec. Gatchalian, accompanied by DSWD officials, was welcomed by Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc, whose province is currently under a state of calamity due to the severe flooding and damages caused by ST Egay.

On Thursday, Secretary Gatchalian ordered the Ilocos Regional Office to discontinue the reconditioning of the relief goods that were damaged inside the DSWD regional warehouse in Laoag City during the onslaught of the typhoon.

“Huwag ipilit if hindi na talaga puwede. There could be high risk of contamination. Let’s document and account na lang,” the DSWD chief directed Field Office-1 Director Marie Angela Gopalan.

Based on the report of Ilocos Regional Director Gopalan, out of the 13,962 stockpile of FFPs) at the Laoag City warehouse, 4,712 bags of rice were being reconditioned while 3,750 bags remained wet due to the heavy rainfall on Wednesday.

Only 5,500 FFPs are ready for distribution, according to Director Gopalan.

As of the latest report of DSWD FO-1, all barangays in Caoayan, Ilocos Sur remain flooded as well as eight barangays in Mangatarem, Pangasinan due to the continued rise Agno River to critical level.

The latest report of FO-1 indicated that a total of 46,272 families or 203,720 individuals in 85 local government units (LGUs) have been affected by ST Egay and the enhanced Southwest monsoon or habagat in the Ilocos Region.

A total of 15,791 families or 67,860 individuals were reported to have been displaced in the entire Ilocos Region.

Of the total, 3,493 families or 12,342 persons were provided temporary shelters in 198 evacuation centers while 12,298 families or 55,518 individuals opted not to be in evacuation centers and were provided various assistance by DSWD and their respective LGUs.

The number of damaged houses in Region 1 was placed at 4,899 classified as totally damaged and 2,893 as partially damaged.

Meanwhile, the DSWD Ilocos Regional Office reported the following forms of assistance and their corresponding expenditure: 58,186 FFPs amounting to PhP40,897,144.34; 28,725 non-food items amounting to PhP62,766,74.98; 736 bottles of water amounting to PhP47,840.00; and 5,969 raw materials (equivalent FFPs) amounting to PhP3,056,128.00.

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