DNA sampling starts on victims’ kin in Itogon landslide

Marje Pelayo   •   September 26, 2018   •   3002


BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Around 30 individuals are still patiently waiting at the training center of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Baguio City.

All of them are hoping that anytime soon they will be able to see at least the bodies of their loved ones buried beneath the rubble of a landslide that descended upon a barangay in Itogon, Benguet during the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong a week ago.

On Tuesday, September 25, four more bodies were recovered from the landslide site.

The next day, authorities began the DNA sampling of the victims’ kin to speed up the process of identifying and claiming the bodies.

The DSWD Cordillera has also started processing burial assistance for relatives of those who are still missing.

This, after Regional Director Ruben Carandang of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) declared that there were no signs of life anymore under the rubble.

The OCD also declared that the operation would be search and retrieval starting today.

According to the Cordillera Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC), the death toll from the landslide has already reached 107 with 87 from Benguet province (82 from Itogon) and 31 still missing. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Doctolero)

Roll out of P1,000 cash aid for ECQ residents set for April 6 or 7 — DSWD

Marje Pelayo   •   April 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has announced that P1,000 cash assistance for each affected resident in areas under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) may be distributed either on Tuesday (April 6) or Wednesday (April 7).

“Maaring magsimula ang pamamahagi ng financial assistance bukas or April 7 matapos na maibaba ngayong araw ng Bureau of Treasury ang pondo sa mga concerned local government units,” confirmed DSWD Spokesperson Irene Dumlao during the regular ‘Laging Handa’ briefing on Monday.

Dumlao also specified the target beneficiaries of the said aid pursuant to the joint memorandum circular signed by the DSWD, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of National Defense (DND).

The beneficiaries of the ECQ cash aid include:
Beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) under Bayanihan 1
Recipients of the Emergency Subsidy Program under Bayanihan 2
SAP waitlisted beneficiaries
Vulnerable sectors (low-income earners, PWDs, solo parents)

Dumlao explained that under the Joint Memorandum Circular, the local government units (LGUs) are given discretion as to the mode or manner of distribution whether cash or in kind.

Upon receipt of the cash allocation, the LGUs must begin the distribution within the next 15 days if cash or 30 days if in kind.

The DSWD clarified that the cash assistance is only P1,000 per person and each family may receive up to P4,000 or 4 members, regardless of the number of members in the family.

The agency stressed that they have already provided a list of beneficiaries to the LGUs which they may use as a reference as to who should be prioritized for the aid.

Dumlao also emphasized that the manner of distribution must be put in detail by the LGUs through an executive order.

DSWD Central Office closes for disinfection, decontamination on March 19

Marje Pelayo   •   March 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Central Office will hold a three-day office disinfection and decontamination from Friday (March 19) to Sunday (March 21).

This measure is to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among the office’s personnel and clients,

On the said dates, all DSWD central office staff will be on a work-from-home arrangement to pave the way for the massive disinfection of the compound.

Likewise, the Department announced that it will temporarily suspend operations of the DSWD Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU) on March 19 to ensure that clients seeking financial aid under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) Program will not be affected by the intensive workplace disinfection operation.

All clients who are scheduled to received their cash assistance on the said date will be processed on March 22 when regular operations of the Department resume.

After the three-day disinfection, DSWD personnel will adopt the work-from-home and skeleton work arrangements until further notice to prioritize the health and safety of the entire workforce and their families.

4 dead, 6 missing after Cebu mining pit collapsed

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — At least four were confirmed dead, while six others are still missing after a mining pit in Barangay Biga, Toledo City, Cebu collapsed on Monday (December 21).

The victims’ bodies were recovered by authorities on Tuesday (December 22) during a rescue operation.

The said mining pit of Carmen Copper Corporation collapsed Monday afternoon. In a statement the mining corporation said the landslide occurred due to the heavy rains brought by tropical depression Vicky.

“As of this time we are in close coordination and communication with the affected immediate families and will continue to extend the needed support and assistance,” the statement reads.

Meanwhile, the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) is also investigating other factors that could have triggered the landslide. Carmen Copper Corporation is among the biggest mining companies in Toledo City, Cebu. AAC


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