By Zaldy De Layola

(File photo)

MANILA – Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian on Tuesday assured the availability of relief goods in Ilocos Region and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) field offices as Super Typhoon Egay battered the northeastern portion of mainland Cagayan province.

“Kindly make sure we plot out interoperability for Cagayan from Ilocos Norte and CAR,” Gatchalian said based on reports to him by DSWD’s Disaster Response and Management Group (DRMG) chief, Assistant Secretary Marlon Alagao.

In its 11 a.m. bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Signal No. 4 has been hoisted over northeastern portion of Cagayan (Sta. Ana), expecting winds of 184 kilometers per hour in at least next 12 hours.

Gatchalian earlier directed DSWD Cagayan Valley Regional Director Lucia Alan to conduct an inventory of family food packs (FFPs) if Egay hits the northernmost tip of Cagayan province.

Alan said the DSWD has a stockpile of 12,000 FFPs, including 1,000 prepositioned for the second district areas composed of Abulug, Allacapan, Ballesteros, Calayan, Claveria, Lasam, Pamplona, Piat, Rizal, Sanchez-Mira, Santa Praxedes and Santo Niño.

Another 6,000 FFPs are stockpiled in the Lallo warehouse, capable to cover the northernmost towns of Aparri, Sta. Ana and the nearby Munis, he added.

He said the DSWD has an available truck in Lallo town on standby for the ferrying of food packs and clean drinking water, ready for distribution to would-be internally-displaced families (IDPs).

“We are closely coordinating with the LGUs (local government units) concerned, assuring them of our augmentation aside from the prepositioned food packs in these areas,” Alan said.

Alagao, meanwhile, instructed all the DSWD regional directors concerned to keep updating their database on FFPs storage capacities of their warehouses. (PNA)