As Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino has instituted the “Adopt a Municipality” strategy for Mayon disaster operations, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has adopted the town of Guinobatan, Albay.

The Adopt-A-Municipality strategy aims to expedite the provision of the needed augmentation assistance to the municipalities affected by the Mayon volcano eruption.  With government agencies adopting towns, it is expected that there will be focused monitoring and better management of the evacuation centers.

In response to this, DSWD assigned an additional 52 employees who will help monitor the evacuation centers in Guinobatan as well as conduct appropriate developmental activities for the evacuees.

DSWD Field Office V Director Arnel Garcia said,  “Ang pagtatakda at pagpapatupad ng mga aktibidad sa mga evacuation centers ay mahalaga para  mawala ang pagkabagot at pag-iisip ng problema ng mga evacuees.  Ang pagsagawa ng iba’t ibang activities ay isang magandang paraan para ma-debrief ang mga tao sa trauma at takot na kanilang naranasan dahil sa pag-alburoto ng Mayon (Conducting various activities inside evacuation centers is important as it is a form of debriefing the evacuees from the trauma and fear that they experienced in witnessing Mayon volcano’s eruption).

Based on records, around 3,372 families from seven (7) barangays of Guinobatan have been affected by the eruption of Mayon volcano.  Of the number, 2,775 families are currently staying in 17 evacuation centers in the town.

Apart from distributing relief supplies to the evacuees,  DSWD social workers will help manage the women-friendly spaces (WFS).

A WFS is a designated tent in an evacuation center where women and children can feel physically and emotionally safe. Activities held here are for psychosocial processing, including drawing and play therapy sessions for children. WFS is also used for breastfeeding. ###