29 December 2016

No holiday break in gov’t relief efforts for Typhoon Nina victims

A Cabinet official said there is no holiday break in the government’s relief operations to help the victims of typhoon Nina which hit the country on Christmas Day.

“So, ngayon ko lang natanto na sa Department of Social Welfare and Development wala palang bakasyon. Kahit holidays nagtratrabaho ang ating mga kagawad, yung ating Disaster Response and Management Bureau, ang mga field offices natin sa Regions 5, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, at NCR, at region 8 dahil nga sa pagdating ng Nina,” said Secretary Judy Taguiwalo of the Department of Social Welfare and Development at a press briefing in Malacanan on Thursday, December 29, 2016.

Secretary Taguiwalo said the government continues with its response and relief efforts, in ensuring that the pre-positioned goods reach the affected municipalities and citizens.

The Disaster Response and Management Bureau reported the total figures of those affected by Nina are 813 barangays, 206,812 families, and 923, 485 persons.

The Bicol region was the hardest hit as reported by Taguiwalo since Typhoon Nina made several landfalls in the area. Albay has the most number of affected people with 240 barangays and 100,000 families.

The Secretary said assistance in relief goods handed out to the victims of the typhoon amounted to a total of P47,298,500. The bulk of assistance came from DSWD while some came from the local government units.

Secretary Taguiwalo gave an update on the P1 billion President Rodrigo Roa Duterte earmarked for the DSWD.

“Iyong sa reseta ni President Duterte na yung isang bilyon na idina-download niya sa ating departamento ay inaayos pa ho natin yung guidlelines. Nililinaw lang ho natin na hindi ho pera ang ibibigay ng department,” she said.

She clarified that a doctor’s prescription should be submitted to the department. Upon validation, instead of money, a guarantee letter for the different drugstores would be given.

Secretary Taguiwalo said although her department has not yet received the one billion, they have already started the free medicines program.

Meanwhile, at the same Press briefing, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said majority of the Filipino people look forward to the coming year with hope and optimism.

“I have good news. 95% of Pinoys greet New Year with hope. The SWS survey taken from December 3 to 6 found 95% of adult Filipinos has said they are entering 2017 with hope rather than fear which is up from 92% last year,” said Abella.

The survey was based on face-to face interviews with about 1,500 respondents, 18 years old and above, and the survey said that this attitude of hope is widespread in all areas. 97 % in Luzon; 95% in the National Capital Region and 95% in Mindanao; and 92% in the Visayas.

Another good news Abella mentioned is regarding the bonus of Department of Education Personnel. He said that personnel in 9 regions of the Department began receiving their performance based bonus for the year 2015. The bonus for the fiscal year 2015 will be given to school based personnel in Regions 4A, 4B, 5, 6, 11, 12, Caraga, CAR and NCR before 2016 ends.###PND