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More DSWD programs for ‘Usman’ victims in Bicol

The assessment and interview of Melissa Dubos from Brgy. Bariis yesterday. She was one of the ‘Usman’ victims in Tiwi, Albay that DSWD Field Office V provided with financial assistance with provision of outright cash PhP5,000.00 (maximum).

Legazpi City—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office V is currently providing other assistance through its existing programs to help the families affected by Tropical Depression (TD) Usman that triggered landslides and severe flooding in Bicol almost two weeks ago.

Based on the January 8, 2019, 11PM Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) report, 2,137 of the 80,982 affected families are still in the evacuation centers. DSWD also recorded 121 dead, 89 injured and 23 missing.

Furthermore, DSWD’s cost of assistance reached PhP24,446,438.25 which includes food and non-food items such as family food packs (FFPs), sleeping kits, hygiene kits, kitchen kits, blankets and malong.

“Though we have noted the increase in evacuation center decampment, we are also facilitating the provision of financial assistance to those families with death and injury,” Dir. Garcia said.

The DSWD social workers are currently conducting interview, assessment and payout to the reported families with death and injury among its members. DSWD will provide a maximum outright cash of PhP5,000.00 for the financial assistance.

The DSWD social workers went personally to Tiwi, Albay yesterday to distribute burial assistance to some of the ‘Usman’ victims.

Melissa Dubos of Brgy. Bariis in Tiwi is one of the recipients of DSWD’s burial assistance. She lost her partner in the early evening of December 29, 2018 when toppled posts caused by a landslide strung him by the electricity cables.

She can clearly recall her wounded partner fighting for his life as they traversed the mountains on foot for more than an hour to get him to the nearest hospital but the large debris of soil and rock hindered their way to the town leaving him succumb to death.

“Sa December 29 pa sana siya uuwi mula Cavite kaso nag request yung mga anak ko na makasama siya nang mas maaga (He is supposed to go home last December 29, 2018, however, he came earlier because of my children’s request),” Melissa said.

She was advised by the DSWD social worker during the interview and stress debriefing that despite of the inevitable challenges, she needs to stay strong for her two children and keep them motivated by assuring them that they can get through this together.

“Nagpapasalmat ako dahil may mga nakarating nang tulong sa amin ngunit mas masaya sana kung kasama pa din namin siya ngayon (I’m grateful of the aid we received but we can be happier if he is still with us today),” Melissa said.

The medical and burial assistance is part of the DSWD Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS). AICS is a social safety net or a stop-gap mechanism to support the recovery of individuals and families from unexpected crisis such as illness or death of a family member, natural and man-made calamities, and other crisis situations.

Dir. Garcia also clarified that the abovementioned programs do not automatically cover everyone. The identification of the program beneficiaries is based on the local government unit (LGU) disaster report validated by the DSWD Field Office V.

“We have sufficient resources to aid the Usman victims, however, we also prioritize those people inside the evacuation centers,” he added.

He also said that augmentation to LGUs DSWD’s primary role during Disaster Response.

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