DSWD ready to aid areas affected by Taal Volcano unrest

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 19, 2021   •   551

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said it is ready to provide aid to the local government units in need of assistance due to Taal Volcano’s renewed unrest.

In a statement, the DSWD said its field office in Region IV-A has more than P2.6 million worth of family food packs (FFPs) and over P8.5 million worth of available relief supplies for repacking. It also has more than P8.3 million standby funds that can be used to procure additional emergency relief supplies.

“The FO has also placed its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) under heightened alert to monitor volcanic activities and to provide technical assistance to municipalities that will require assistance,” according to the DSWD.

Meanwhile, the department urged residents in areas near the Taal Volcano to be vigilant and to strictly follow the orders of local authorities for their own safety. AAC

PH gov’t readies P1.5B emergency funds, food packs for Typhoon ‘Bising’ victims

Robie de Guzman   •   April 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has allotted P1.5 billion to respond to the people who will be affected by Typhoon Bising, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said.

In a statement, the DSWD said it has prepared emergency relief supplies that can be used to augment the resources of local government units affected by the typhoon.

“Based on the 6PM, April16 report of the Disaster Response Management Bureau (DRMB), the DSWD maintains stockpiles and standby funds amounting to more than P1.5 billion. Of which, more than P517 million is the available Quick Response Fund (QRF) in the DSWD Central Office,” the agency said.

“In addition, the Department and its Field Offices (FOs) have 355,672 family food packs prepositioned in strategic locations around the country ready to be delivered to LGUs,” it added.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) that Bising has slightly weakened as it moves northward over the Philippine Sea.

The typhoon was last spotted at 500 kilometers east of Infanta, Quezon, packing maximum sustained winds of 185 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 230 kilometers per hour. It is moving northward at 10 kilometers per hour.

The DSWD said that its field offices’ Quick Response Teams along the typhoon’s track are “now on standby and ready to provide technical assistance, if needed, following the new normal protocols of the agency amid the pandemic.”

“The Department, as the lead agency in the Food and Non-Food Item Cluster, Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster, and the Internally Displaced Persons  Protection Cluster of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council will continue to ensure the efficient and well-coordinated delivery of social protection services to the population that will be affected by the typhoon,” it said.

PAGASA said that moderate to heavy rains at times intense rains will be experienced over the Bicol region and Northern Samar until Tuesday.

It is forecast to move generally northward or north-northwestward until Wednesday evening or Thursday morning before it moves away from the landmass of Luzon.

Bising is seen to exit the Philippine area of responsibility on Sunday.

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383 volcanic earthquakes recorded in Taal Volcano in past 24 hours

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Wednesday maintained Alert level 2 over Taal Volcano as it recorded 383 volcanic earthquakes in the past 24 hours.

Based on the latest bulletin, upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in the main crater lake occurred Tuesday morning (April 13) and 383 volcanic earthquakes, including 238 episodes of volcanic tremor lasting from one to 12 minutes occurred in the past 24 hours.

Phivolcs also said it continues to observe “a very slow and steady inflation and expansion of the Taal region that began after the January 2020 eruption.”

The agency reminds local government units around the area to be vigilant and continuously assess the situation. Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano.

“DOST-PHIVOLCS is closely monitoring Taal Volcano’s activity and any new significant development will be immediately communicated to all stakeholders,” the bulletin said. AAC

‘Slow start’: DSWD says only 8% of P22.9 billion ECQ aid distributed in NCR Plus

Robie de Guzman   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Only eight percent, or equivalent to more than P1 billion, of the fund allotted for government assistance has been distributed to low-income families affected by the 2-week enhanced community quarantine previously imposed in the NCR Plus areas, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said.

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk to the People briefing on Monday night, DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said that P1.7 billion of the total P22.9 billion government assistance aid has been disbursed to beneficiaries.

Citing data from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) covering the payouts from April 7 to 9, Bautista said around 1.7 million beneficiaries in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal have already received their aid.

The government earlier said that each beneficiary will receive P1,000 or a maximum of P4,000 per family.

Bautista admitted that the rollout of the assistance was off to a “slow start” but assured that the process will speed up in the next few days.

“Makikita po natin dito na talagang may slow start but as experienced last year, na talagang start po talagang mabagal, after four to five days doon na po nag-start ng pag-distribute ng special assistance,” he said.

The DSWD chief also reported to Duterte that a joint monitoring and inspection committee has been set up for every local government to ensure that the aid is properly distributed.

Grievance committees were also created where recipients can raise their concerns on government assistance.

Metro Manila and four nearby provinces – called NCR Plus – were placed under ECQ from March 29 to April 11 in a bid to slow down the COVID-19 spread.

The said areas were reverted back to modified ECQ starting April 12 until April 30.

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