Food aid to typhoon victims extended

Posted on July 19, 2013

FOOD ASSISTANCE to victims of last year’s typhoon Pablo (international code name: Bopha) in Northern Mindanao has been extended for two months to August to cover over a tenth of affected residents, a Cabinet official said yesterday.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon J. Soliman said in a statement yesterday the extended food aid will give time for victims to seek a permanent source of livelihood.

“It would be difficult if their time is divided between meeting their daily food needs and looking for a job or attending to their new livelihood,” she said.

According to the statement of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Priscilla N. Razon said that out of the 233,455 beneficiaries, 15% or around 35,000 are still deemed “most vulnerable.”

“They comprise those that still do not have a source of livelihood and food assistance,” Ms. Razon said in a phone interview yesterday.

“Some have somehow normalized and have engaged in livelihood already,” she added.

The food aid started immediately after Pablo hit eastern Mindanao in December, Ms. Razon said, adding that the target of reaching the remaining victims will be achieved next month.

Under the extended program, food packs worth 11.09 million have been delivered this month to Caraga, Davao Oriental as well as in five Compostela Valley municipalities, namely Compostela, New Bataan, Montevista, Monkayo and Laak, the DSWD said.

A total of 1.3 billion worth of assistance to typhoon victims has so far been provided in the form of cash for work (CFW), emergency shelter assistance (ESA), modified permanent shelter and educational assistance, the DSWD said.

Under the CFW, beneficiaries will receive 226 per day in change for community work. To date, 120.42 million has been dispensed to roughly 68,860 recipients.

In a partnership with local government units, nongovernmental organizations and humanitarian agencies, the DSWD has also started the construction of shelters in resettlement areas for displaced families particularly in Cateel and Baganga, Davao Oriental.

Meanwhile, ESA beneficiaries in Compostela Valley have started repairing their houses. Pay-out dates are still being set for each municipality.

The United Nations has issued a higher amount of appeal to the international committee for relief and rehabilitation efforts for Pablo victims after a recent on-site inspection.