ILOILO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday led the distribution of assistance to families affected by Tropical Depression Agaton following his aerial inspection of the damaged areas in Capiz.
President Duterte was joined by Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Bautista, and Capiz Governor Esteban Evan Contreras during the distribution held at the Pontevedra Elementary School in the municipality of Pontevedra.
“The DSWD will be here. For as long as there are people who cannot eat, we will sustain the food,” he said in his message.
DSWD Regional Director Evelyn Macapobre, in a media interview, said that aside from the standard assistance consisting of food packs, sleeping mats, kitchen and hygiene kits. They also started providing cash assistance of PHP5,000 each to an initial 148 affected families.
“We based on the list that has been submitted to us by the LGU (local government unit) and validated by our workers. The list does not come from us since they (LGUs) know the situation better but we just validate,” she said.
In the succeeding days, DSWD personnel will go to affected municipalities that have already complied with the requirements set forth in order to avail of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS).
“Since our fund is limited, we will prioritize those who are really in need depending on the availability of funds,” she said, adding that they only ask for funds based on the list from LGUs.
If there are late submissions, the DSWD will continue to accept and forward these to their central office for appropriate action.
Macapobre added that even if it is election season, the Department is exempted from the poll ban.
She also emphasized that the aid coming from the DSWD is just an augmentation because it is the LGUs that have the principal responsibility to assist their affected constituents.
In addition to cash assistance, the DSWD has already extended PHP4.8 million worth of food and non-food assistance to the affected families in the province consisting of 8,800 food packs; 200 sleeping mats, hygiene kits, and drinking water.
As of today, DSWD has recorded 102,380 families or 383,496 individuals who were affected by “Agaton” in Capiz.
The Capiz Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), in its April 16 report, said that 107 barangays in the province are still flooded as of 11 a.m. and 64,447 families or 259,731 individuals are still staying in evacuation centers.
Further, 11 deaths have been recorded, seven are still missing, and 196 have suffered injuries of which three were admitted to hospital.
The PDRRMC, during their April 12 meeting, agreed to declare Capiz under state of calamity pending the resolution of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. (PNA)
Credit belongs to : www.pna.gov.ph