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DSWD chief gets situation briefing, assures aid for quake-affected LGUs, families in Surigao del Sur

DSWD in Surigao del Sur meeting
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian joins the coordination meeting presided over by Surigao del Sur Governor Alexander Pimentel on Monday (December 4) at the provincial capitol in Tandag City to discuss disaster response efforts following the 7.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the province on December 2. Also in the meeting are Undersecretary for Disaster Response and Management Group Diana Rose Cajipe, DSWD-Caraga Regional Director Mari Flor Dollanga, and the mayors of the different towns of Surigao del Sur.

Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary (DSWD) Rex Gatchalian on Monday (December) flew to Surigao del Sur to get a first-hand assessment of the damage caused by the magnitude 7.4 earthquake that struck parts of Mindanao last Saturday (Dec. 2).

The DSWD chief was specifically ordered by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to continue providing assistance to the families affected by the impact and aftermath of the magnitude 7.4 earthquake in Mindanao.

“In these challenging times, let us unite as a nation. Together, we will overcome the obstacles posed by this disaster and emerge stronger,” the President said in his social media post Sunday (Dec. 3) as he assured the public that the government is working to help victims of the quake that hit several areas in Mindanao Saturday evening.

President Marcos noted that the DSWD and the Department of the Interior and Local Government are collaborating with local government units (LGUs) “to provide essential aid to those in need.”

During the coordination meeting held at the Surigao del Sur provincial capitol in Tandag City, Secretary Gatchalian was given a damage assessment by Governor Alexander Pimentel.

“In line with the directive of President Marcos, we assure Governor Pimentel, all the LGUs of Surigao del Sur and all the families affected by the earthquake that you will receive all the necessary assistance from the DSWD,” Secretary Gatchalian said.

The situation briefing was also attended by the 17 municipal mayors and two city mayors of Surigao del Sur and by DSWD officials including Undersecretary for Disaster Response and Management Group (DRMG) Dianne Cajipe and Field Office Caraga Regional Director Mari Flor Dollaga.

Shortly after the magnitude 7.4 earthquake, the DSWD Field Office Caraga immediately activated its Quick Response Team (QRT) to render assistance to some 100 earthquake-affected families whose houses were damaged by the temblor.

The 100 families were given temporary shelter at the Bitoon Elementary School in Hinatuan town where they received family food packs (FFPs) on Sunday.

FO Caraga has been closely monitoring and conducting assessments in the earthquake-affected municipalities of Hinatuan, Bislig, Lingig, Barobo, Tagbina, and Tandag City.

Reports from the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said around 746 houses were totally damaged while 141 partially damaged with total damage cost of over Php 88 million after a magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck Surigao del Sur late Saturday and triggered tsunami warnings that were later lifted.

The OCD also reported that 529 families representing 2,647 people were affected by the quake, with an epicenter near the town of Hinatuan in Surigao del Sur.

The powerful quake struck off the coast of Mindanao at a depth of 32 kilometres and was followed by four major aftershocks of magnitudes exceeding 6.0 over several hours into Sunday, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

DSWD chief hands out cash aid to families with quake-damaged houses in Surigao del Sur

DSWD aid to Surigao del Sur

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian, joined by Surigao del Sur Governor Alexander Pimentel, distributes on Monday (December 4) cash aid, under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), to families whose houses were damaged by the 7.4 magnitude tremor that hit the province and other areas in Mindanao on December 2.

Joining Sec. Gatchalian and Gov. Pimentel in the ceremonial distribution of cash assistance at the provincial capitol are Tandag City Mayor Roxanne Pimentel, Undersecretary for Disaster Response and Management Group (DRMG) Diana Rose Cajipe and DSWD-Caraga Regional Director Mari-Flor Dollaga-Libang.

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