Secretary Rex Gatchalian of the social welfare department has issued a high alert to all regional directors to prepare for the possible effects of Tropical Depression “Dodong” on Thursday morning, July 13.

Gatchalian directed all DSWD regional directors to be “extra ready” to respond to families and individuals who would be affected by possible floods and landslides due to the enhanced southwest monsoon or habagat.

“All DSWD regional offices should immediately activate their respective DRMD QRT (Disaster Response and Management Division-Quick Reaction Teams) and closely coordinate with their local DRRMCs (Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council),” Gatchalian said in his directive.

Gatchalian ordered Undersecretary Dianne Cajipe of the Disaster Response and Management Group (DRMG) to make sure that family food packs (FFPs) and other forms of relief assistance were ready for immediate dispatch to regional offices needing augmentation of their stockpile.

Based on the latest PAGASA weather bulletin, Typhoon Signal No. 1 is in effect in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya (Region 2-Cagayan Valley); Apayao, Kalinga, Abra, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet (Cordillera Administrative Region); Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, the northern portion of Pangasinan (Region 1-Ilocos Region); and the northern and central portions of Aurora –Maria Aurora, San Luis, Baler, Dipaculao, Dinalungan, Casiguran, Dilasag (Region 3- Central Luzon)

The enhanced southwest monsoon that would bring gusty conditions over the following areas: MIMAROPA, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, CALABARZON, Metro Manila, and other areas of Central Luzon not under any wind signal, according to PAGASA.

On Wednesday (July 12), the DSWD Bicol regional office reported flooding in Polangui Albay due to rains caused by the southwest monsoon.

Gatchalian said the regional DSWD in Bicol had stand by quick reaction fund of about P5 million while total FFPs would be at 129,193 boxes worth P80,860,982.00.

While for the non-food items (NFIs) such as sleeping kits and hygiene kits would be P120,851,476 which would be ready for dispatch, Gatchalian said.

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