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DSWD can provide food aid to LGUs affected by Mayon eruption for three months

Legazpi City—Dir. Arnel Garcia said in a press conference earlier today that the agency can provide for 20,000 families for 100 days if this need arises.

He added that the agency can call the National Office to augment delivery of family food packs (FFPs) amounting to PhP402,000,000 to sustain the food requirement of 20,000 in three months.
DSWD still expects the number of evacuees to rise as Mayon volcano remains in alert level 4 status. Based on the 12noon DSWD data today, there are 19,249 affected families or 74, 290 individuals coming from nine municipalities namely, Camalig, Daraga, Guinobatan, Ligao City, Malilipot, Tabaco City, Sto. Domingo, Bacacay and Legazpi City.
“Hindi po kayo mauubusan ng pagkain at tulong dahil may karanasan na tayo sa malawakang evacuation noon (You will not run out of food and government aid because we have experienced extensive evacuation before),” he said.

Relief assistance to Albay
As of the press time, the province of Albay through its provincial government and city government of Legazpi already received the total cost of assistance amounting to PhP17,123,024.72 which includes the following food and non-food items:
 13,503 Family Food Packs – PhP 5,297,834
 14,000 pieces of Malong – PhP 3,500,000
 6,503 pieces dignity kit – PhP 7,023,240
 2,000 pieces assorted toys – PhP 194,880
 6,503 pieces blanket – PhP 1,107,070.72

Moreover, the DSWD Regional Office has already requested a total of 69,000 family food packs from its National Office. Twelve trucks (trucks courtesy of World Food Programme) ferried a total of 19, 500 family food packs (FFPs) from the National Office today while the Provincial Government of Albay picked up the remaining 4,343 of the requested 12,003 FFPs from the DSWD Regional Warehouse this morning.

One (1) DSWD family food pack contains six (6) kilos of rice, four (4) tin cans of corned beef, four (4) tin cans of sardines and six (6) packs of energy drink or coffee sufficient for five members of a family good for two days. The LGUs also provide relief supplies to affected families but the packaging and content vary.

DSWD promotes the evacuees’ rights
In a meeting of the Quick Response Teams (QRTs) yesterday, Ms. Corazon Pitero, Social Welfare Officer V, emphasized the importance of validating the data enclosed in the disaster report submitted by the local government units (LGUs). She said that the generated reports are the basis of DSWD, other national government agencies (NGAs) and non-government organizations (NGOs) for the relief efforts.
The QRT members will also provide technical assistance to LGUs specifically the camp managers, local social welfare and development offices (LSWDOs) and local disaster risk reduction and management offices (LDRRMOs) in the protection of the rights of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) or the evacuees.

“We look after the safety and wellbeing of our IDPs especially the vulnerable groups including the elderly, women, children and persons with disability (PWDs),” Garcia added.

Evacuation centers should be clean, healthy and safe for everyone. DSWD recommends that these evacuation centers must have child-friendly spaces for their protection and women-friendly spaces for gender sensitivity.

The QRT will also monitor the general facilities if there are existing medial stations, hand washing and laundry areas, waste disposal area, kitchen for cooking, breastfeeding rooms, conjugal rooms and domestic animal pens.

Selling, buying of relief goods punishable by imprisonment of up to 12 years
Section 19 of Republic Act (RA)10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 prohibits the selling of relief goods, equipment, or other aid commodities intended for distribution to disaster victims. It also prohibits buying, either for consumption or resale, of relief supplies both from disaster relief agencies and from the recipient disaster-affected persons.

Other prohibited acts include preventing the entry and distribution of relief goods in disaster-stricken areas; diverting or misdelivery of relief goods; forcibly seizing of the goods intended for a specific group of victims or relief agency; and, accepting, possessing, using or disposing of relief supplies not intended for nor consigned to a person.

The prohibited acts further include misrepresenting the source of relief goods either by covering or replacing the labels, repacking the goods into containers with different markings, or by making a false verbal claim that the goods came from another agency or persons; and, substituting or replacing relief goods, equipment or other aid commodities with the same items of inferior or cheaper quality.
Under the law, those who commit any of the prohibited acts face a fine ranging from P50,000 – P500,000 or imprisonment of six years up to 12 years.

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