DSWD distributes food packs, cash to quake-hit families in Mindanao

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported an initial PHP5.1 million worth of aid to families affected by Friday's 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Sarangani, Davao Occidental and other provinces in Mindanao. In a statement on Sunday, the DSWD said Secretary Rex Gatchalian joined the relief operations in the Regions 11 (Davao Region) and 12 (Soccsksargen). The DSWD Field Office-12 distributed 6,500 family food packs (FFPs) to Sarangani province and General Santos City. It also provided cash assistance of PHP10,000 each to six families who lost relatives. The DSWD Field Office-11 sent 1,000 FFPs to Sarangani Island. Based on the DSWD's latest report, there are 951 families or 1,229 individuals in 25 villages affected by the earthquake. Twenty-two houses were totally damaged while 48 were partially damaged in the provinces of Davao Occidental, Sarangani and South Cotabato. Intensity VII (destructive) was felt in Glan, Sarangani and Intensity VI (very strong) in Koronadal and Polomolok in South Cotabato and General Santos City. Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Romel Lopez said the DSWD is constantly coordinating with concerned local government units (LGUs) for updates and needed interventions. 'We assure the public that the DSWD is on top of the situation and our communication lines are always open for augmentation requests from LGUs (local government units) affected by the tremor,' Lopez said. The DSWD currently maintains over PHP2.8 billion worth of standby and stockpile funds for its disaster response operations. PCSO assistance The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) likewise asked its Mindanao branches and small-town lottery (STL) operators to contribute to relief operations, according to a news release posted on Facebook. STL operators teamed up with LGUs for the distribution of food packs to 200 families in Malapatan, Sarangani Province and another 200 families in Barangay Bula, General Santos City. The PCSO offered medical aid through its Medical Assista nce Program and allocated calamity funds. "Through our close collaboration with local government units, we aim to ensure that these families receive the necessary assistance during this challenging time,' PCSO General Manager Melquiades Robles said. Source: Philippines News Agency