DSWD assures enough funds to aid Taal Volcano evacuees

Published February 16, 2021, 6:05 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

As preemptive evacuation was enforced among residents on Taal Volcano Island,  the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assured Tuesday. Feb. 16, that it has enough quick response fund (QRF) to assist families that could be affected by a possible volcanic eruption.

(photo from Philippine Coast Guard)

DSWD Spokesperson Irene Dumlao expressed the agency’s readiness to augment the relief efforts of local government units (LGUs) during times of disasters and calamities.

“We have adequate standby quick reaction funds intended to support the families that will be affected if in case Taal Volcano will erupt again,” she told the Manila Bulletin in a Viber message. 

“We have stockpiles of family food packs and other non-food items (hygiene kits, sleeping kits, etc) available for augmentation to LGUs once requested. We have also trained quick response personnel ready for deployment in short notice,” she added. 

The DSWD- Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) reported that as of 6 a.m., Feb. 16, the DSWD has available stockpiles and standby funds amounting to over 1.36 billion. 

Of the amount, P615.16 million was allocated as the DSWD Central Office’s standby funds, and remaining funds were earmarked as available funds of its Field Offices (FOs). 

“The DSWD is also ready to augment the LGUs in terms of Camp Coordination and Camp Management,” Dumlao said. 

She said currently, DSWD Field Office 4-A (CALABARZON) has family food packs (FFPs) amounting to more than P2.6 million and available raw materials amounting to more than P8.5 million, which are ready for repacking. 

“Standby funds of more than P8.3 million [are] available as well for procurement of additional raw materials,” she added. 

The latest DROMIC report said the DSWD has available stockpiles worth P702.59 million. These included P385.04 million worth of non-food items and P201.59 million worth of other food items. 

Around 257, 495 family food packs worth P115.96 million were available for distribution.

The DSWD has so far distributed a total of 2, 554, 949 family food packs nationwide.

The total cost of relief assistance amounted to P1.99 billion. Of the amount, P1.46 billion was the share of the DSWD. While. the non-government organisations provided P492.79 million and “other sources” extended P31.85 million in aid.

The provincial government of Batangas has ordered the evacuation of residents after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reminded the public that Taal Volcano is still under Alert Level 1, and that entry into the Taal Volcano Island, a permanent danger zone, should be strictly prohibited.