SURIGAO CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – Caraga has continued conduct of disaster relief operations recently with the latest 6.7 magnitude earthquake that hit Surigao del Norte last February 10, 2017, causing mild to severe damage on houses and different infrastructures in the province.

 DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo leads the initial distribution of food and non-food items to the victims of the quake.

Sixty-six (66) barangays from Surigao City, San Franciso, Malimono, Sison, and Mainit have been affected by the said quake, damaging 3,257 houses, affecting 16,555 individuals.

With this, the field office is in full disaster operations mode, activating the Quick Response Teams at the regional office and the different Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Teams, and Provincial/City/Municipal Action Teams to coordinate with the Local Social Welfare and Development Offices (LSWDOs) and Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices (LDRRMOs) of the affected city/municipalities.

OIC Regional Director Mita Chuchi G. Lim has personally overseen the operations, coordinating with Local Government Units (LGUs) and the different line agencies handling the relief operations. During President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s visit to Surigao City last February 12, 2017, OIC-RD Lim was with DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo for the initial distribution of food and non-food items to the victims of the quake.

“We are on top of the operations. We will closely coordinate with the LGUs and the different agencies to ensure that all the needs of those affected will be addressed,” Lim said.

Coordinating with LGUs and the different concerned agencies, OIC Regional Director Mita Chuchi G. Lim personally oversees the relief operations in Surigao City and other affected municipalities in Surigao del Norte.

OIC-RD Lim has been making the rounds in the different affected barangays to ensure that the distributions of the goods are done correctly. She has even missed out on the Regional Office’s celebration of the agency’s 66th anniversary, stating that the relief operations needs to be prioritized, upholding the agency’s slogan, “Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo.”

To date, the field office has extended Php3,078,070.37 cost of assistance covering 8,400 family food packs, 3000 pieces of 6.6 Liters bottled water, 500 pieces 4.4 Liters bottled water, and 7,137 pieces 1 Liter bottled water.

Always Ready. As part of its preparedness to respond measures, the agency ensures prepositioning of family food packs to strategic locations in the region. Prior to the 6.7 magnitude earthquake that hit the area, the DSWD has already prepositioned goods in Surigao City ready any time for augmentation support to LGUs requesting assistance. Each FFP contains six (6) kilos of rice, eight (8) canned goods, and six (6) pieces of 3-in-1 coffee.

DSWD Central Office has also extended aid which has now totaled to Php18,159,998.00 broken down into 5,000 pieces blankets, 30,000 pieces High Energy Biscuits, 1,000 dignity kits, 150 pieces solar panels, 10 sets generator, 5,000 pieces plastic mats, 225 rolls laminated sacks, 3,250 bars ready-to-eat brown rice bars, 5,000 pieces malong, 30,000 family food packs, and 1 unit mobile kitchen.

Together with these goods, the regional office has assigned social workers to handle psychosocial support sessions to field staff who are still in the state of trauma with the experience they have had with the quake and the persistent aftershocks.

Repacking of family food packs will still continue at the DSWD warehouse at Tiniwisan, Butuan City to accommodate requests for augmentation of goods once provided rations would be depleted, while the field office’s Disaster Response Assistance and Management Unit (DReAmU) will continue to monitor the situation with close coordination with the LSWDOs and the LDRRMOs.

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