DSWD assures aid to affected areas in Taal, more help to come
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has assured residents affected by the Taal Volcano’s recent activities that assistance has been delivered while more aid will come in the coming days.
The DSWD said on Friday that modular tents have been sent to the provinces of Batangas and Cavite, which may be used by residents who were required to evacuate due to the Taal Volcano’s phreatomagmatic eruption on Thursday.
According to the department, there were over 317 families or around 1,282 individuals staying in 11 evacuation centers in Batangas. On the other hand, DSWD also said that there is enough standby and stockpile funds should the affected provincial governments need to augment current assistance given to local government units (LGUs) concerned.
“The DSWD Central Office has delivered 200 family tents to Batangas Sports Complex, while 500 modular tents were sent at the DSWD IV-CALABARZON warehouse in General Mariano Alvarez (GMA), Cavite on July 1,” DSWD said in a statement.
“As of July 1, 6PM, DSWD has more than P1.1 billion standby and stockpile funds. Of which, more than P169 million is the available Quick Response Fund (QRF). In addition, a total of 306,472 FFPs are strategically prepositioned around the country for augmentation to LGUs.”
Earlier, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) convened a meeting about the situation, which included Department of Science and Technology attached agencies, other departments, and DSWD.
DSWD relayed that during the meeting, Secretary Joselito Bautista assured that food and non-food items would be distributed in the next days — in fulfillment of DSWD’s mandate as the lead agency in the NDRRMC’s food and non food item cluster.
“Earlier today, DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista also joined the situational briefing with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) to discuss response measures to assist affected [LGUs],” it added.
A phreatomagmatic eruption occurred in Taal Volcano on Thursday afternoon, spewing ash and other materials about a kilometer high in the air. Due to the activity, Phivolcs raised Alert Level 3 over the area, which means some hazard-prone barangays in the town of Agoncillo and Laurel in Batangas should be evacuated.
Earlier, Phivolcs shared a drone footage showing continuous upwelling within Taal Volcano’s main crater lake — an indication that magma or other volcanic materials are making waters rise — while plumes were reaching as high as three kilometers.
Despite the activity, Phivolcs said that they are not expecting a scenario similar to January 2022, when Taal Volcano erupted and sent ash fall to as far as Central Luzon.
As of now, DSWD said that 300 family tents are being delivered to Laurel, Batangas — one of the two Batangas towns which contain barangays that are within the seven-kilometer danger zone.
“The National Resource Operations Center, the main disaster hub of DSWD, is also preparing to dispatch 1,500 family food packs (FFPs) to Agoncillo, Batangas, 2,000 FFPs to Laurel Batangas, and 5,000 FFPs to Batangas Sports Complex,” DSWD said.
“Lastly, the Department is consistently monitoring the situation of affected local government to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of psychosocial and protective services to disaster-affected families,” it added.
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