DSWD orders release of additional P5 M standby-funds from its central office for Zambo

September 16, 2013 8:32 am 

MANILA, Sept 15 –Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon J. Soliman ordered on Saturday the release of additional P5 million standby funds to purchase relief supplies as the number of evacuees continue to increase in Zamboanga City.

In a statement issued Saturday noon, DSWD Secretary Soliman said that she ordered the release of the additional fund to ensure that there will be sufficient assistance in terms of food and non-food items for the number of affected families being sheltered in 22 evacuation sites.

She added that earlier on September 11 and 13, she has also ordered the release of P1.5 million additional funds to continuously address the rising needs of the increasing number of affected families caused by the on-going armed conflict in Zamboanga City.

Aside from the said funds, Soliman said that other regional offices of DSWD like Region X, Region XI and CARAGA have also transferred stock goods to Zamboanga City to boost the assistance for the victims in Zamboanga conflict.

The stock goods provided by the said regional offices consist of tents, food packs and non-food packs such as hygiene kits.

She added that a total of 220 Badjao families or sea gypsies now are among the displaced families being assisted by the social workers of DSWD in the Zambonga conflict.

The said Badjao families according to the DSWD chief opted to just stay in their vintas in front of the Grandstand instead of staying in evacuation centers for fear that their vintas will be stolen.

“Their vintas are their natural dwelling and they fear that these will be stolen. Nevertheless, our social workers reach out to them in their area and we continuously provide them with relief goods just like the other evacuees,” Secretary Soliman added.

She also added that DSWD is now starting to list families whose houses were burnt to facilitate the implementation of shelter assistance program.

For women and children needing special assistance, she ordered the provision of child friendly space for them.

Soliman is still in Zamboanga City, since Wednesday and she was joined there Saturday by other DSWD officials like DSWD Undersecretary Parisya Hashim Taradji, Assistant Secretaries Teodulo Romo and Camilo Gudmalin.

She said that her DSWD officials and social workers from other regions were there to join her in boosting the assistance needed by evacuees victimized by the armed conflict whose lives were affected since the conflict began Monday (September 9).

She also mentioned that President Benigno S. Aquino III came and check the conditions of the evacuees and gave assurance that the government will continue to provide them relief assistance and promote their safety

She also expressed thanks to the local government unit of Zamboanga City, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other civil society organizations (CSOs) that joined DSWD in bringing assistance to the needy victims especially in Joaquin F. Enriquez Sports Complex, the largest and most populated evacuation center sheltering now about 7,924 families or 44,472 individuals.

As of Saturday noon, the total number of displaced families reaches 11629 families or 62,329 persons.

Among the NGOs and CSOs that provided assistance are:

Anak Mindanao Partylist and Red Cross and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that helped in providing water for the evacuees;

Zamboanga Basilan Integrated Development Alliance (ZaBIDa) and KATILINGBAN Day Care that helped in taking care and assisting the management of children and infants;

Volunteer students from Student Council of Western Mindanao and Akbayan Zamboanga Chapter who assisted in some evacuation centers;

Human Development Empowerment Services (HDES), ICRC volunteers, Red Cross, and students from Western Mindanao State University who help in cooking foods for the displaced families staying in evacuation centers;

Volunteers from Archdiocese of Zamboanga who manage community kitchen for seven evacuation centers;

Volunteers from Zamboanga City High School who manage community kitchen for Tetuan National High School evacuees;

Volunteers from Ateneo de Zamboanga who manage the community kitchen for Talon-Talon Elementary School;

She also cited that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided P26 million worth of tents and non-food items.

She also added that the World Food Programme (WFP) also provided tents and 800 boxes of High Energy Biscuits to keep the evacuees energetic.

She also added too that 14 portalets were initially provided and installed by Lina group of Companies and some 6 portalets will still be coming in the next few days to provide convenience and sanitation in waste disposal necessities of the evacuees .

She also mentioned that the Department of Health (DOH) together with the Zamboanga City’s Health Office, Red Cross and ICRC and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSCO) medical staffs ensures that those evacuees needing medical assistance are properly taken care of.(PNA)

CTB/DSP/LSJ

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