Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian has ordered the immediate dispatch of at least 289,906 boxes of family food packs (FFPs) intended for Ilocos Region, Central Luzon and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
Secretary Gatchalian has instructed the Regional Directors in Ilocos, Central Luzon and CAR to continuously check on the needs of local government units (LGUs) which experienced flooding due to the Southwest monsoon that was enhanced by Typhoon Egay and now Falcon.
The National Resource Operations Center (NROC), the main disaster response hub of the DSWD located in Pasay City, is expected to dispatch a total of 289,906 boxes of FFPs in the first two weeks of August as augmentation assistance to the LGUs in Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, and CAR.
Of the total number of FFPs for dispatch, 120,406 FFPs will be sent to the Ilocos Regional Office while 24,500 FFPs will be sent to CAR field office. This is in line with Secretary Gatchalian’s directive to the Disaster Response and Management Group (DRMG) to prepare the matrix for the total number of FFPs for immediate dispatch.
In the case of Central Luzon, Secretary Gatchalian directed Field Office – 3 Director Jonathan Dirain to relay to the LGUs to pick up their assigned FFPs at the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City because of their proximity to the National Capital Region (NCR).
“Try to set up pick-ups kasi malapit lang naman mga LGUs ng Central Luzon,” the DSWD chief told Director Dirain, who was scheduled to talk with Region 3 governors and mayors for the pick-up of their relief goods from NROC.
Central Luzon has the biggest allocation of FFPs at 140,000 boxes intended for the provinces which experienced heavy flooding due to the enhanced ‘Habagat’ brought about by then Super Typhoon Egay and now Typhoon Falcon.
DRMG Undersecretary Diane Cajipe said the FFPs intended for the provinces in Region 3 include Pampanga with 50,000 FFPs; Bataan, 30,000; Bulacan, 50,000; and Zambales, 10,000 FFPs.
“We will start dispatching today with 10,000 boxes of food packs for Pampanga,” Undersecretary Cajipe said.
Pampanga’s Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said that a state of calamity was declared in Macabebe, San Simon, Sto. Tomas, and San Luis due to floods brought by Typhoon Egay. The PDRRMO said that 222 barangays in 16 municipalities in the province were flooded.
According to the Office of Civil Defense in Central Luzon, more than 189,000 families have been affected by the flooding in Region 3, and relief operations are continuing.
Floodings were also reported in the provinces of Bataan, Zambales and Bulacan, where a total of 22 municipalities and cities were flooded Monday (July 31) due to the continuous rains over the weekend brought by the Southwest monsoon enhanced by ‘Falcon.’
Hit by floods in Bulacan were Angat, Norzagaray, San Ildefonso, San Rafael, Meycauayan, Marilao, Sta Maria, Balagtas, Bustos, Plaridel, Baliuag, Bocaue, Guiguinto, Pandi, Hagonoy, Paombong, Pulilan, Malolos, Calumpit, San Jose Del Monte, Obando, and Bulacan, Bulacan.
The Bulacan provincial government said a total of 25,601 families are now staying in various evacuation centers in the province.
The state weather bureau PAGASA said the southwest monsoon enhanced by Typhoon Falcon will bring occasional to monsoon rains over the western portion of Luzon in the next three days.
According to Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez, the distribution of assistance was ordered by Secretary Gatchalian to ensure that sufficient relief goods are present in the regions affected by Typhoon Egay and Typhoon Falcon.
“Secretary Gatchalian has already ordered for the immediate dispatching of FFPs to Regions I, III, and CAR to guarantee that the needs of displaced families affected by recent weather disturbances will be met,” said Asst. Secretary Lopez.
Asst. Secretary Lopez, who is also DSWD spokesperson, also assured the public that the Department is continuously coordinating with affected LGUs to monitor on-the-ground situation to prevent any untoward incidents in evacuation centers.
“We urge all affected residents to stay vigilant and continue to follow the directives of their chief executives to ensure their safety at all times,” Asst. Secretary Lopez said.
DSWD continues reach-out operations for street dwellers amid heavy rains
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), through its Oplan Pag-Abot Team, continues to conduct reach-out operations to families and individuals in street situations in Metro Manila, amid the heavy rains brought about by the ‘Habagat’ induced by Super Typhoon Egay and now Falcon over the past few days.
The DSWD team was joined by representatives from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) during the conduct of actual operations and in processing the information, including biometrics of the reached-out clients, as well as assessment of their needs at the designated centers around the National Capital Region (NCR).
The Pag-Abot operations are being conducted with the assistance of the local government units (LGUs) of the cities of Caloocan, Pasay and Manila.
Oplan Pag-Abot is the recently-launched project of the DSWD that aims to reach out to people living and staying on the streets by providing them with necessary interventions to address their immediate and long-term needs.