By Zaldy De Layola

(File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has delivered aid to fire-hit families in various regions in the country this month in collaboration with concerned local government units (LGUs), as part of its mandate to serve families and individuals in difficult situations.

“Part of our mandate is to assist LGUs serve their constituents who are in difficult circumstances, like being affected by a fire incident,” DSWD Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez said in a news release.

In Central Visayas, DSWD Field Office-7 extended over PHP994,000 worth of humanitarian aid to the 81 families or 240 individuals who were affected by the Feb. 3 fire that razed around 80 houses at B. Suico St. in Upper Tingub, Barangay Tingub, Mandaue City.

Lopez said the DSWD Central Visayas region has distributed family food packs (FFPs), cash assistance, sets of hygiene and sleeping and family kits through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program.

The FO Central Visayas has also deployed personnel to assess the situation of the families affected by two separate fire incidents in Sitio Sac-sac in Barangay Malabuhan and Sitio Bungag, Barangay Apoloy in Siaton town, Negros Oriental, he said.

“The affected families in these areas were referred to our AICS program for possible provision of cash aid,” he added.

In Calabarzon, some 66 families out of 90 households affected by a fire incident in Barangay Pulvorista in Kawit, Cavite on Feb. 8 also received FFPs, hygiene and sleeping kits, and bottled water from the regional office.

The Calabarzon FO has also coordinated with the LGU of Lipa City for the provision of augmentation support to the 12 families affected by the fire that broke out on Feb. 11 in Barangay Bugtong na Pulo.

In Bicol Region, the DSWD Field Office-5 has extended assistance worth more than PHP9,000 to two families whose houses were razed by a fire in Barangay Zone 2 in the municipality of Libon, Albay on Feb. 6.

In another fire incident in Zone 5, Barangay Perpetual Help in Iriga City last Feb. 11, the DSWD Bicol regional office also provided with food packs and other non-food items to affected families.

“They will also receive financial support through AICS, pending the assessment of our field office personnel,” Lopez said.

In the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), the DSWD FO is currently monitoring the situation of a family composed of four members who were affected by a fire incident in Barangay Cawayan in Asipulo, Ifugao last Feb. 8.

“We are also in close coordination with the local government of Baguio City to further assess the aftermath of the fire incident at The Voice of America, Camp John Hay last February 11,” Lopez said.

In Zamboanga Peninsula, the DSWD FO-9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) assisted the LGU of Kumalarang in Zamboanga del Sur in providing the necessary assistance to the 10 families affected by the fire incident in Barangay Diplo last Feb. 7.

Lopez reiterated the agency’s commitment to supporting families who are affected by disasters in line with the directive of DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian to provide them with all forms of assistance to ensure that no one is left behind. (PNA)