Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman on Thursday assured continuous and enough relief assistance to families affected by the on-going armed conflict in Zamboanga City, and their other needs are being taken cared off.
In a statement, Soliman said that the total cost of assistance for these displaced families has already reached more than P3.56 million.
According to Sec. Soliman, of the said amount, P1.16 million came from her department.
She said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) distributed the assistance through its Region 9 Field Office that provided 61 boxes of cup noodles, 1,583 food packs and hot meals for the affected families.
About P1 million, she said, came from the fund of local government unit (LGU) of Zamboanga City while concerned non-governmental organization and civil society groups also gave over P1.3 million assistance.
Soliman said that there is an on-going repacking of family food packs at DSWD FO 9, with the aid of volunteers, to maintain the field office’s stockpile to immediately address the increasing needs for relief assistance.
She said that DSWD FO 9 has set three community kitchens to facilitate the mass feeding and provision of hot meals.
She pointed-out that they keep a sustained closed coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the security and safety of the DSWD clients and staffs deployed in most affected areas.
She also added that they ensure that there are enough regular representatives of DSWD that will attend the emergency meeting of the Crisis Management Committee (CMC) to immediately address those needing assistance.
Soliman assured that there are enough social workers deployed to assist the immediate needs of those rescued and facilitate the issuance of affidavits against their hostage takers.
She added that DSWD had facilitated the airlifting of six units of portalets, one truck with portable pumps and cubitainer with two sanitary personnel to Zamboanga City.
The portalets were donated by Bert Lina of Air 21 and was airlifted in close collaboration with the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine Air Force (AFP-PAF) as of Wednesday night.
The portalets will be used in evacuation centers so that those who seek shelters will have convenient means of disposal of waste.
Soliman said that a total of 20 units of portalets were donated.
She added that there are still remaining 14 units of portalets that will be airlifted anytime within this day.
Meanwhile, the United Nation World Food Program (UN-WFP) donated 800 boxes of high energy biscuits (HEBs) for affected families.
The DSWD chief expressed gratefulness to those who contributed for the welfare of the affected families in the armed conflict in Zamboanga City.
She reiterated that DSWD is closely monitoring the situation and its allocation of standby funds are readily available for augmentation when the need arises.
The DSWD has earlier announced that it has allocated as standby fund the amount of P1 million, 1,693 family packs worth P423,250 and other food items worth P94,190.
Latest data from the DSWD showed a total of 3,248 families composed of about 14,739 individuals have been affected by the armed conflict since Monday.
According to DSWD, of this number 87 percent or 2,816 families took temporary shelters in 13 evacuation centers while about 10 percent equivalent to 313 families had evacuated to their friends and relatives houses located in safe areas.
To date, about 968 families or 4,068 persons are still staying now in 13 evacuation centers while 301 families consisting of 1,228 individuals are outside the evacuation sites.
These evacuees are spread now in Sports Complex, Martha Drive, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Fisheries Bldg., Mormons Tetuan, Home for Women, Lunzuran Brgy. Hall, Processing Center for Displaced Persons (PCDP), and DPWH Tumaga.
Other evacuees are being taken care in Putik Elem. School, Immaculate Conception Archiodiocesan School(ICAS), Mapang Elem. School, Zambowood Elem. School, and Southcom National School. PNA