More than Php11 million worth of assistance has been extended by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to the families affected by the magnitude 6.8 earthquake that hit some parts of Mindanao, Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez reported on Monday (November 20).

“In line with the directive of Secretary Rex Gatchalian, the DSWD’s response team has immediately mobilized its field offices to provide the needed assistance to the affected families,” said Asst. Sec. Lopez, who is also the DSWD spokesperson.

According to Asst. Sec. Lopez, the DSWD has intensified its coordination with the local government units (LGUs) in the swift delivery of family food packs (FFPs) and cash aid under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program.

Through its Field Office 11 (Davao Region), the DSWD has distributed some 1,015 FFPs to the affected families in the municipalities of Don Marcelino and Sarangani in Davao Occidental.

The DSWD Field Office 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN) also extended support to the affected population by providing 8,200 food boxes to the provincial government of Sarangani, the municipality of Glan, and General Santos City.

“Aside from food packs, the Department also extended cash aid to address the urgent needs of the affected families. This will help them purchase other items and things they need,” the DSWD spokesperson pointed out.

Based on the latest report, some 2,317 beneficiaries from General Santos City and municipalities of Glan and Malapatan in Saragani, received outright cash assistance from the DSWD.

“The DSWD remains steadfast in our mission to provide timely and efficient assistance to communities affected by the earthquake,” Asst. Sec. Lopez said.

The DSWD recorded a total of 3,587 families or more than 15,700 individuals who were affected by the earthquake incident from 42 barangays in Davao Occidental, Sarangani, and South Cotabato provinces.

“Food packs and other essential items have been strategically prepositioned and are ready for immediate distribution,” Asec. Lopez said.

To date, the DSWD maintains more than Php 2.8 billion in standby funds and a stockpile of resources from both central and field offices.

The Department will continue to monitor the situation of the affected families and coordinate with concerned LGUs to ensure a coordinated and effective response in the ongoing relief efforts. #