DSWD readies packed goods in case situations in Taal, Mayon escalate
MANILA, Philippines— A total of 200,000 family food packs (FFPs) have been prepositioned by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in regions vulnerable to the Taal and Mayon volcanoes, which have been exhibiting “increasing unrest.”
DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian announced on Wednesday that 100,000 FFPs have been stocked in the Bicol Region alone, while another 100,000 have been distributed to areas vulnerable to Taal.
Gatchalian added that he has coordinated with Albay governor Edcel Greco Lagman to provide assistance to the province.
“We’ll continue to stockpile and make sure na— kung may mangyari— we’re ready to augment the local governments’ efforts. Kasi alam namin ang response sa frontline is the local government. Siyempre, kapag overwhelming yung disaster, kailangang tumulong ang national government,” said Gatchalian at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.
(We’ll continue to stockpile and make sure that— if something happens, we’re ready to augment the local governments’ efforts. Because we know that the frontline response is the local government. Of course, if the disaster becomes overwhelming, the national government needs to assist.)
The DSWD’s Bicol region field office has activated a quick response team to monitor Mayon developments, according to the welfare body.
It has also coordinated with the Office of Civil Defense, which has promised the DSWD half its warehouse space to store 16,000 FFPs, along with use of its forklift.
The condition of evacuation centers in Albay towns Guinobatan, Camalig and Daraga have also been evaluated in preparation for possible volcanic activity, while 21,000 FFPs have also been unloaded at a warehouse in Camalig.
The welfare secretary also updated that an estimated total of one million goods have been prepositioned nationwide by the DSWD as the country recovers from and braces for other calamities.
“Ang naging positioning ng departamento is to preposition goods, ‘wag lang lahat nasa Maynila. Nakakalat ‘to,” he said.
(The department’s positioning is to preposition goods, and not only in Manila. They are spread out.)
“As we speak, around one million goods are spread across our different field offices nationwide and more are being processed in our repacking centers in Cebu and in Manila,” added Gatchalian.
DSWD also expects to receive contamination test results “very soon” from the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on allegedly expired cans of Ocean’s Best tuna previously found in the department’s food packs.
“They did both sensory and actual contamination tests. It took sometime pero babalikan na raw nila kami very soon,” said the welfare chief.
(It took some time but they said they would get back to us very soon.)
“Wala yun [in current food packs.] Nakatabi ‘yun. In the event that na may contamination, hindi lang yung food boxes lang namin ang problema. These are products that are readily available in grocery shelves or online so things will have to be called,” added Gatchalian.
(They are no longer in the current food packs. They have been set aside. In the event of contamination, it is not only our food boxes that will be a problem. These are products that are readily available in grocery shelves or online so things will have to be called.)