DSWD-Bicol ready to extend aid to ‘Ompong’ victims in CAR

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 5 (Bicol) is ready to extend help to victims of Typhoon Ompong in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), an official of the agency said Tuesday.

“We are ready to provide aid as soon as we receive directives from the central office or letter request from the said affected region,” said Arnel Garcia, DSWD-5 director, in an interview on the sidelines of the Albay Media Forum held here Tuesday.

“Kung sila ay tumutulong sa atin, bakit hindi natin tulungan sila (If they are helping us, why can’t we help them) with a PHP3.2-million available standby fund ready to be used anytime," Garcia said.

He said as of Sept. 13, the warehouse of DSWD-5 contained 11,360 family food packs, each with 6 kg. of rice, four cans of corned beef, four cans of sardines, and six packs of energy drink or coffee sufficient for five members of a household and good for two days of consumption.

For the non-food stocks, she added, there were 2,297 hygiene kits, 623 dignity kits, 9,066 sleeping kits, 327 laminated sacks, 376 tents, 115,296 malong, 1,998 family kits, and 46,350 blankets.

Garcia said he is willing to offer funds, as well as volunteer workers and even equipment technology, if needed.

“I already instructed them (volunteer workers) to be on standby mode,” he noted.

Itogon town in Benguet province suffered numerous casualties in a major landslide in Barangay Ucab as Typhoon Ompong barreled through northern Luzon. (PNA)