Other than giving relief supplies, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Field Office (FO) in the CARAGA Region has also been providing psychosocial help to some of the survivors of the 6.7-magnitude earthquake that hit Surigao City and the surrounding municipalities of Mainit, Malimono, San Francisco, and Sison on February 10.

A team of psychosocial support providers from DSWD-FO CARAGA has conducted sessions in Surigao City and the municipality of San Franciso, Surigao del Norte. The team served fellow DSWD staff who have been affected by the calamity.

Support providers from the Local Government Units (LGUs) also conducted separate psychosocial sessions to assist the other victims.

According to DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo, it is also important to address the psychosocial needs of the quake survivors.

“Filipinos are known to be resilient, but not everyone has a strong coping mechanism when it comes to dealing with difficult situations such as this,” Sec. Taguiwalo said.

“Many of the survivors manifested emotional trauma caused by the recent disaster. It is important to address this, as it may lead from mild to moderate disorders,” she added.

FO CARAGA will carry out another set of sessions to more affected individuals in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the field office continues to conduct relief operations to assist the 3,331 families or 16,655 individuals who have been affected by the earthquake.

The disaster damaged several establishments and thousands of houses, displacing many residents in the region.

As of 4PM today, 1,567 families or 7,835 persons are still staying in open areas near their homes while 74 families or 370 individuals are currently staying in tents at the Provincial Capitol grounds.

To date, there is a total of 3,257 damaged houses in the region; of which, 215 are totally damaged, while 3,042 are partially damaged.

FO CARAGA has been making rounds since the aftermath of the disaster, visiting the affected barangays in the region to distribute Family Food Packs (FFPs) and Non-Food Items (NFIs) to the survivors.

According to the field office, only seven (7) barangays out of the 54 affected in Surigao City have not been extended with assistance, namely: Brgys. Capalayan, Danao, Ipil, Quezon, Sugbay (an island barangay), Washington, and Taft. The FO aims to reach these remaining barangays as soon as possible.

Additional augmentation support in the form of 12,500 FFPs from the Visayas Disaster Response Center (VDRC) facilitated by DSWD-FO VII arrived yesterday and will be distributed by the FO today. Some 17,500 more will be delivered to the field office.

The FO has also started the distribution of the additional resource augmentation support it received from the DSWD Central Office, delivered via C130 plane of the Philippine Air Force on January 14, which include 10,000 pieces of high-energy biscuits; 5,000 pieces of mosquito nets; 5,000 pieces of blankets; and 5,000 pieces of plastic mats.

The augmentation support also included 3,250 pieces of brown rice bars, 500 packs of dignity kits, and 130 rolls of laminated sacks, which may be used as temporary shelter for those whose houses got severely damaged.

To date, a total of P10,313,406.37 worth of assistance has been provided to the affected families. Of the said amount, the Department has provided P9,237,218.37, while the LGUs and some Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) provided P963,838.00 and P112,350.00, respectively. ###