The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office V (DSWD FO V) distributed 300 Family Food Packs amounting to PHP 205,695.00 yesterday, March 30, 2024, to families affected by the recent armed conflict in Barangay San Vicente and Villa Paz, Jovellar, Albay.

The Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office of Jovellar reported that on March 28, 2024, around 9:30 PM, an armed conflict started in the aforementioned area involving the joint force of Albay 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC), 505m MC, Regional Mobile Force Battalion 5, and the Philippine Army against an estimated 30 members of the alleged Communist National Terrorists Group (CNTG). The exchange of gunfire persisted for approximately fifty minutes, resulting in one civilian being injured and promptly transported to RHU – Jovellar for immediate first-aid treatment, then to the Bicol Regional Hospital and Medical Center (BRHMC) for further medical attention.

Subsequently, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council of Jovellar, in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Regional Office 5, ordered the evacuation of residents from the affected areas to prevent further harm. As a result of the conflict, 121 families comprising 537 individuals from the two affected barangays were displaced and are currently seeking refuge in evacuation centers and with their relatives in the safest nearby barangay.

Through the directive of Regional Director Norman Laurio, the Disaster Response Management Division (DRMD) Division Chief Claudio Villareal Jr. and Albay Provincial SWAD Team Leader Lloyd Lara conducted assessment and led the distribution of the immediate assistance. They also provided psychosocial interventions to ease the trauma caused by this incident.

DSWD FO V continues to monitor the status of the families in coordination with the Local Government Unit of Jovellar.

The Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) will also offer medical assistance to the wounded individual of the incident.###