Some 718,208 individuals or 145,641 families affected by super typhoon “Yolanda” are now being sheltered in 581 evacuation centers in 29 provinces in seven regions of the country, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported Friday.
According to DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman, the affected persons were from regions 4-A, 4-B, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Soliman said that the provinces, which are along the path of the most powerful storm on the earth this year, include Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Northern Cebu, Bantayan Island, Camotes Island, Northern Negros Occidental, Aklan, Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras, Dinagat Prov., Masbate, Ticao Island, Southern Sorsogon, Romblon, Surigao del Norte and rest of Caraga.
She said that the affected individuals in the evacuation centers are being served through the prepositioned family food packs in the provinces, in coordination with the DSWD regional offices and local government units (LGUs).
She added that P30 million additional stand-by fund was released to these provinces as an augmentation of the relief distribution.
She added that repacking of food and non-food items is on-going at Albay Astrodome by DSWD Field Office 5.
The DSWD chief also added that repacking of relief goods is also on-going at DSWD-NROC, Pasay City.
Meanwhile, a Malacanang Palace official said Friday the Department of Social Welfare and Development has released an additional P53 million for relief operations for victims of supertyphoon Yolanda.
“Itinaas po ng ahensiya sa P53.24 million ang karagdagang pondo sa relief operations,” Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a press briefing.
“Nakahandang ipamahagi ng DSWD ang mga relief goods para sa mga mamamayan sa mga apektadong lalawigan, lungsod at munisipalidad,” he added, as he urged volunteers to come over at the DSWD-National Relief Operations Center in Malibay, Pasay City to help in the repacking of relief goods for distribution in the affected areas.
Coloma said the government is not giving up on its zero casualty goal, and is aiming to improve its disaster response mechanism.
“Hindi tayo natitinag sa layuning zero casualty … Yan pa rin ang gusto nating matamo,” he said.
In a related development, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Friday announced that the death toll for super typhoon “Yolanda” has now climbed to three.
Major Rey Balido, NDRRMC spokesman, said that two of the casualties were electrocuted while the third fatality was hit by lightning. Two of the fatalities were from Masbate while the third is from Zamboanga City. Seven more reported injured, the NDRRMC said.
In related news, the Philippine Coast Guard announced that a total of 3,093 passengers were stranded in various sea ports. (PNA)