Gov’t scales up relief efforts for Batangas-quake survivors

QUEZON CITY-- Following the directives of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to continue to provide relief assistance to the affected families of the magnitude 5.6 and magnitude 6.0 twin earthquakes in Batangas before his departure to the Middle East, concerned disaster response agencies created a joint task force to reinforce the relief efforts in the affected municipalities.

A team, composed of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Red Cross (PRC), and Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) and Provincial Health Office (PHO) of Batangas, will conduct Psychosocial Processing (PSP) to displaced families in Mabini and Tingloy, Batangas.

Another team, comprised of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) IV-A, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOCS), PRC, DSWD-Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DREAMB) and FO-CALABARZON, and PSWDO of Batangas, is also set to conduct data validation on the affected families and damaged houses and infrastructures starting today in the said municipalities.

As of today's latest report, a total of 2,139 families or 10,917 persons have been displaced and are being served in Batangas Province, all of whom, used to take temporary shelter in 45 evacuation centers.

Additional assistance has already been delivered by the DSWD-National Resource Operations Office (NROO) consisting of water, bolts and knots, and high energy biscuits to the PSWDO of Batangas which was already distributed and utilized by the earthquake survivors.

Moreover, the DSWD FO-CALABARZON sent additional 500 Family Food Packs in Tingloy, 1,280 and 288 packs of ready-to-eat food in Mabini and Batangas City, respectively, bringing the total amount provided by the DSWD to earthquake victims in Batangas to P1,598,296.

For now, DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo directed staff members from the Central Office and FO-CALABARZON to continue the conduct of Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (RDANA) in the affected areas and ensure that the basic needs of all the affected locals are met.

"I have instructed our concerned units and offices to augment the needed resources and provide appropriate interventions to affected individuals, especially to the children, pregnant women, PWDs and senior citizens who are members of the vulnerable sector. We continue to strengthen our coordination with the local government, the DOH, and the PRC to provide for their immediate needs. We also appeal to the Filipino people to ensure earthquake preparedness in their own homes and communities. Preparedness is our best defense against calamities, and when we are prepared, rehabilitation after disasters becomes faster and easier than it ordinarily would be if we were caught unaware and unprepared," said Sec. Taguiwalo.

Source: Philippines Information Agency

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