Province speeds up relief efforts

Operation Tabang Casimanua, is in full swing with the distribution of rice and food items (photo courtesy of PIO)

The provincial government on Thursday said its emergency relief effort launched after typhoon Vinta, Operation Tabang Casimanua, is in full swing with the distribution of rice and food items to affected barangays including Mangsee Island which was hard-hit by the recent weather disturbances.

The operations center reported having distributed 2,311 sacks of rice and other food items so far.

“For Balabac, we have delivered 811 sacks of rice, kasama ang 500 family food packs, bails of used clothes, 16 boxes of medicine. ‘Yan po ang unang wave ng ating relief goods,” Abegail Ablaña, head of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), said in a press briefing  Wednesday.

“Ang kasunod niyan yong 1,500 sacks of rice, more family food packs, mineral water in blue containers. Nagpadala din tayo ng plastic mats, malong, white cloth, cadaver bags, boxes of dextrose at additional 500 family food packs para sa Mangsee,” she said.

Ablaña noted that the distributed food items “were not regular relief goods” that can only last for a few days.

“Ang ibinigay natin ay one sack of rice each family meaning ang isang kaban ng bigas ay tatagal ng dalawang linggo up to three weeks. The governor instructed us to give one sack of rice per family,” Ablaña said.

Food and non-food relief items were also sent by the PSWDO to Sofronio Española for 196 families affected by Vinta.

For typhoon Agaton affected families, 500 food packs have been earlier prepositioned in Dumaran, Narra, and 28 sacks of rice were also given to Puerto Princesa.

The PSWDO is still accepting canned goods, milk, coffee, clothes (appropriate for Muslims), kitchen utensils, and construction materials that the residents can use in repairing their damaged houses.

Provincial Information Officer Gil Acosta added Governor Jose Alvarez is currently coordinating with the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) for possible assistance it can provide to the victims of Urduja, Vinta, and Agaton.

Asked if the provincial government will provide financial assistance to coastal families whose fishing boats were destroyed by the typhoons, Ablaña said they will, after assessment and validation of damages have been conducted.

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