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We have enough resources for Kanlaon-affected families – DSWD chief

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian assured the public that the agency has sufficient family food packs (FFPs) prepositioned in regions affected by the volcanic activity of Mt. Kanlaon in Negros Island.

“As we speak right now, may 10,000 tayong FFPs kagabi, almost 5,000 sa Negros Occidental, 5,000 sa Negros Oriental. Kanina, may sampung libo ulit na FFPs na dumating dito at galing yan sa packaging center natin sa Cebu. And to the same degree meron tayong another 10,000 na parating naman sa Bacolod area. So, ang goal natin by tomorrow, on the ground, meron tayong almost 50,000 FFPs,” Secretary Gatchalian said in a press conference in Canlaon City on Tuesday (June 4).

Secretary Gatchalian said President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr directed the DSWD to stay on top of the situation and ensure no family will be left behind.

The DSWD chief emphasized he is in constant communication with the heads of the affected local government units (LGUs) to personally know the situations in their respective localities and the needed assistance of the affected families.

“Kung lumala yung sitwasyon, handang-handa ang DSWD sa instruksyon ng ating pangulo na tulungan ang ating mga local government units sa pagpapakain sa ating mga kababayan na maapektuhan,” the DSWD chief pointed out.

Secretary Gatchalian said the agency, with the assistance of the LGUs, is preparing for the worst and they have a ‘game plan’ if volcanic activities of Mt. Kanlaon continues.

“Once safe na ang ating mamamayan, tulad ng nasabi ko kanina, tuloy-tuloy yung pagbibigay ng pagkain sa ating mga affected family. Ginawa natin yan sa Mayon kahit na tumakbo ng almost four months. Nagtulungan ang lokal na pamahalaan, pati na rin ang pamahalaang nasyonal. May game plan na tayo,” Secretary Gatchalian said.

Secretary Gatchalian noted that the DSWD is ready to provide other forms of assistance in addition to the FFPs to help the affected individuals cope with the possible disruption in their livelihood due to the volcanic eruptions.

“Pangalawa, nabanggit ko rin kanina na lagi kaming inaatasan ng ating pangulo na to go beyond doon sa family food packs. Pumapasok ang financial assistance kaya nga nag-uusap din kami ng mga kongresista na kung darating ang panahon na yan, meron tayong ibang mga programa tulad nung Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), meron tayong emergency cash transfer,” Secretary Gatchalian explained.

The DSWD chief flew to Negros Oriental on Tuesday (June 4) to personally oversee the disaster response operations for families affected by the volcanic activity.

Upon his arrival in Canlaon City, Secretary Gatchalian immediately met with the local officials led by Negros Oriental province Governor Manuel Sagarbarría as well as Negros Oriental 1st District Rep. Jocelyn Sy-Limkaichong, Negros Oriental 2nd District Rep. Manuel Chiquiting Sagarbarria and Canlaon Mayor Jose Chubasco Cardenas to discuss the ongoing disaster operations.

The Secretary also led the ceremonial distribution of relief supplies to internally displaced individuals in the city.

DSWD Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group Diana Rose Cajipe accompanied the Secretary in his visit to Negros Oriental.

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