DSWD Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group (DRMG) Diane Rose S. Cajipe accepted the three (3) vacuum machines from George Kenneth Lee, Country Manager, Humanitarian Services-Welfare and Self-Reliance Department of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS), in a simple turnover ceremony on February 2, 2024.

DSWD Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group Diane Rose S. Cajipe and Mr. George Kenneth Lee, Country Manager, Humanitarian Services-Welfare and Self-Reliance Department of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS) spearhead the turnover ceremony of the three (3) vacuum machine on February 2, 2024. With them are (from left) Brother Benso Estera Tonido of LDS, Engr. Irish Yaranon of the National Resource and Logistics Management Bureau, DSWD 7 ARD for Administration Tonyson Luther Lee, and DSWD 7 Regional Director Shalaine Marie S. Lucero.

The LDS donated the vacuum machines to the Visayas Disaster Resource Center (VDRC), which will enhance the capacity of the VDRC to produce more vacuum-packed rice for disaster-affected populations.

Undersecretary Cajipe thanked LDS for the good deed, as it will benefit more people in times of disaster, and expressed that DSWD looks forward to more collaboration with the religious entity. She commended LDS for its passion and commitment to do what is good and what is right. She also recognized the volunteers’ contribution to producing hundreds of family food packs that reached different places.

In her welcome message, DSWD 7 Director Shalaine Marie Lucero stressed Buong Bansa Handa, an innovation of Secretary Rex Gatchalian in disaster preparedness that ensures the seamless provision of necessities during disasters and calamities caused by climate change and human-induced hazards.

DSWD 7 Assistant Regional Director for Administration, Tonyson Luther Lee, Chief Administrative Officer, Engr. Irish Yaranon and some DRMG personnel, Brother Benso E. Tonido, Brother Butch Colipapa, Sister Clyda Teichert, and Brother Briant Teichert of the LDS, VDRC workers, and volunteers attended the activity.

The Philippine Government built VDRC through the DSWD and the Office of Civil Defense, in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme, in 2016, two years after they established a network of disaster response hubs across the Philippines with the support of the governments of the United Kingdom and Australia.

Inaugurated on April 27, 2016, in Casuntingan, Mandaue City, this first disaster response center in the Visayas transferred to its current location in September 2017 in Tingub, Mandaue City. ###

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