Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office (FO) I Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo briefs the members of the Quick Response Team (QRT) of the FO who would be deployed to DSWD Operations Center in Batangas City Sports Complex, Bolbok, Batangas City to help in the relief operations for families affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has deployed Quick Response Teams (QRTs) from the Central Office (CO) and Field Offices (FOs) to the CALABARZON Region to assist in the Department’s ongoing relief operations for families who have been affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista directed to mobilize the Department’s QRTs in the CO and FOs to augment the staff of DSWD FO CALABARZON as it responds to the needs of affected local government units (LGUs). Members of the QRTs will be deployed to various evacuation centers in the affected areas to assist in Camp Coordination and Camp Management, Disaster Assistance Family Access Card (DAFAC) profiling, and in the distribution of relief goods to evacuees, among others.

To date, QRTs from the Department’s Disaster Response Management Group (DRMG) and FOs I, II, III, and V have already been deployed to the affected areas. Before deployment, the teams were briefed on the situation of the relief operations in the Region and the roles and responsibilities expected from them.

Based on the January 29, 6:00 PM report of DSWD Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC), 124,764 families or 464,728 persons from CALABARZON have been affected by the eruption of Taal. Some 19,131 families or 66,989 individuals are taking temporary shelter in 415 evacuation centers in Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, and Quezon; while 60,538 families or 225,389 persons are currently staying with their relatives and/or friends.   

To date, DSWD has provided a total of ₱13,023,728.22 worth of assistance to the affected families. The assistance, consisting of 29,043 Family Food Packs (FFPs), 6,360 ready-to-eat food, 1,870 sleeping kits, and 4,643 plastic mats, was provided as augmentation support based on the requests of the LGUs.

Meanwhile, as part of DSWD’s early recovery and rehabilitation plan for families affected by the eruption of Taal, DSWD will coordinate with concerned LGUs for the implementation of Cash-for-Work (CFW). CFW is a short-term intervention to provide temporary employment to distressed or displaced individuals by participating in or undertaking preparedness, mitigation, relief, rehabilitation, or risk reduction projects and activities in their communities or in evacuation centers. In exchange of the work rendered, beneficiaries are provided with cash to meet their requirement for food and other basic necessities. LGUs will identify the beneficiaries and the appropriate CFW activities in accordance with appropriate guidelines.

Initially, DSWD is facilitating the sub-allotment and transfer of funds amounting to ₱20,700,000 to FO CALABARZON for the implementation of CFW for internally displaced persons who will assist the Department in the encoding of DAFAC profiles.

The Department maintains its close coordination with concerned LGUs for the continuous provision of technical assistance and resource augmentation to help them respond to the needs of the affected residents. -30-