Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista joins President Rodrigo R. Duterte in handing over financial and relief assistance to residents affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano during the President’s visit at the Batangas City Sports Coliseum on January 14. Also in the photo is Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas. (Photo courtesy of Ace Morandante/Presidential Photo.)

As part of its mandate to provide technical assistance and resource augmentation (TARA) to local government units (LGUs), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has sent augmentation assistance to LGUs responding to the needs of 109,054 families or 412,217 individuals who have been affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano as of 6:00 PM, January 28.  

To date, DSWD has so far provided a total of P13,023,728.22 worth of augmentation 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.

DSWD emphasized that it has enough resources to assist LGUs and respond to the needs of the affected families. The Department’s Central Office (CO) and Field Offices (FOs) have a total of P910,245,390.43standby funds and stockpile of food and non-food items.

To further augment the resources of DSWD, the Department’s FOs in different regions in the country have also provided relief augmentation to affected areas in CALABARZON. The Department’s FO-National Capital Region (NCR), I, II, V, MIMAROPA, and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) have sent FFPs and other food and non-food items for the evacuees.

Meanwhile, in order to ensure that operational and administrative concerns on the Department’s disaster response are addressed, DSWD Secretary Bautista has instructed for the creation of DSWD Task Group Taal headed by Assistant Secretary Jose Antonio R. Hernandez.

Assistant Secretary Hernandez, who hails from Batangas, has been visiting various evacuation centers in different affected areas in the province to check on the condition of the evacuees and monitor the provision of assistance to them. He also met with Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas and members of the Batangas Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) and CALABARZON Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMO) on January 15 to discuss the continuous provision of assistance to the affected residents. 

Likewise, on January 18, DSWD officials headed by Sec. Bautista, together with the Department’s disaster teams, conducted a coordination meeting at the newly-established DSWD Command Center in Batangas City to discuss issues and concerns, and formulate corresponding actions pertaining to the Department’s disaster response operations in the CALABARZON region.

The Department continues to coordinate and collaborate with concerned LGUs and other stakeholders to determine other appropriate assistance that the affected residents may need to ease their situation. -30-