DSWD works with PAL, Air 21 in bringing relief goods to Bohol
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has forged a deal with Philippine Airlines (PAL) Foundation and Air 21 to transport relief goods free of charge to the victims of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol on October 15.
“We have sent relief goods to PAL Foundation and Air 21 for immediate delivery to Tagbilaran City. This partnership is timely since we really need to speed up the delivery of more goods for the victims. We are grateful for their help,” said Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman.
PAL Foundation will fly in the relief goods while Air 21 will transport the supplies through sea freight using 2Go forwarding services.
Cebu Pacific and Zest Air also offered their services to transport relief goods without charges. The DSWD is in the process of finalizing the deal with the two airlines.
The repacking of relief goods for the earthquake victims is still in progress at the DSWD-National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City, at the DSWD Field Office 7 in Cebu City and at the DSWD Operations Center in Tagbilaran City.
Some 562 volunteers went to NROC from October 23 to 25 to help in the repacking of the targeted 50,000 food packs to be sent to quake-ravaged areas.
The DSWD is also completing the construction of mobile warehouses in the towns of Tubigon and Bool in Bohol.
A team of 20 pastoral care debriefers and counselors, led by Fr. Arnold M. Abelardo, director of Claret Urban Poor Apostolate, is assisting social workers in Bohol.
Earlier, social workers from affected local government units and DSWD-Field Office 7 conducted initial Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) sessions to earthquake-survivors in the different evacuation centers in Bohol and Cebu.
CISD is a pychosocial intervention that helps victims of disasters cope with their traumatic experiences.
Meanwhile, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has turned over to the DSWD and the local government of Bohol 6,000 units of hygiene kits for evacuees in earthquake-stricken areas in the province.
Present during the turnover ceremony were DSWD social marketing service director Cezario Joel Espejo, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, USAID Philippine mission director Gloria Steele, and USAID regional adviser Ben Hemingway.
Each hygiene kit contains five pieces of toothbrushes, a 75-ml tube of toothpaste, a 120-ml bottle of shampoo, three 90-g bath soaps, three 400-g laundry soaps, 20 pieces of sanitary napkins, two combs and a nail cutter.
In his message, Chatto thanked Steele and the USAID family who has always been part of Bohol’s development.
“I am so happy USAID is here with us in good times and in bad times,” Chatto said.
Soliman thanked the USAID and other international humanitarian aid partners for helping the country cope with the devastating effects of the earthquake.
She added that the DSWD has been closely coordinating with the local government units and other partner organizations to continue to provide quick responses to the affected families that need food and nonfood relief assistance.
Through the World Food Programme, USAID has also been providing logistical assistance to the DSWD.
Two US military water purification units were also transported to Bohol and are now being operated by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) engineers to produce fresh drinking water for the families in the earthquake-hit towns.
Over the past five years, the United States, through USAID, has provided a total of P3.4 billion in humanitarian assistance to help the Philippines in the preparation and response to the disasters that hit the country, Soliman said.
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