The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) began coordinating with its field offices (FOs) and other disaster-mitigation agencies as Severe Tropical Storm Nina (international name Nock-ten) entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) at 3 a.m. Friday.
Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo reported on Friday that her department maintains 573,730 family food packs strategically prepositioned across the country.
Taguiwalo also said that funds amounting to PHP127,013,772.09 are ready to be used by local government units (LGUs) that will be possibly affected by the inclement weather.
According to the state weather bureau PAGASA, 'Nina' was spotted at 10 a.m. at 790 km. east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, moving west-northwest at 25 kph, and packing maximum sustained winds of up to 105 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 130 kph.
Eastern Visayas update
Meanwhile, the number of families affected by the torrential rains in Eastern Visayas rose to 33,161 families or 141,929 individuals in 240 barangays in the region.
Due to the improving weather, families who took temporary shelter in all evacuation centers in the region have returned to their respective homes.
The DSWD field office in the region has delivered additional relief items in the affected municipalities in Eastern and Northern Samar for distribution to affected communities.
Taguiwalo also assured the affected families that the department's regional office will continue their close coordination with their LGUs and Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) for further assistance and augmentation support.
She also expressed hope the 'bayanihan' spirit of the Filipino people would once more emerge this Christmas to overcome any devastation the new weather disturbance would cause.
"We also want to reiterate that the safety and security of the most vulnerable members of our families -- children, the elderly, the sick, and pregnant women -- have to be guaranteed and ensured. We call on the public to coordinate with local disaster agencies in their communities regarding preparations for the storm and to heed all warnings that will be issued. The main goal is to have zero casualties," she said.
Source: Philippines News Agency