Tag Archive | "Disaster Risk Reduction Management"

Malaysian NGO donates cash for Typhoon Yolanda survivors

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Central Visayas recently received the 17,815.00 Malaysian Ringgit which is equivalent to Php 239,694.90 from Amitabha Malaysia, an active charity organization in Malaysia.

“We are grateful for the generosity of the Malaysian people towards our countrymen especially to the survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda,” said DSWD Assistant Regional Director Nemia Antipala.

“Rest assured this cash donation will reach to the affected families as we are now in the rehabilitation stage,” Antipala added.

However, DSWD 7 clarified that this is the first time an international organization sent a cash donation because most of the relief aid were in-kind donations.

Once the social welfare agency received the cash donation it will be deposited immediately to a DSWD bank account. Then it will issue an official receipt to the private individual or donor organization.

The Disaster Risk Reduction and Response Operation of DSWD will submit a proposal and a purchase request indicating the specific purpose of the cash donation. It will then be submitted to the Regional Director for review and approval.

Jeffrey Lim, the President of Amitabha Malaysia said that people can’t predict when disaster comes. He said Amitabha Disaster Relief Team (ADRT) is always on standby. He also said that once the natural disaster occurs somewhere in Malaysia or abroad, ADRT will be immediately activated raising resources and lending a helping hand to the victims.

“We are in a very strong position to help the people affected by Typhoon Haiyan (international name of Yolanda). Everyone at Amitabha Malaysia has been deeply moved by the scenes of devastation in the Philippines,” said Jeffrey Lim.

“So many lives have been deeply affected by this horrific catastrophe. Responding swiftly in humanitarian disasters ensures that more lives are saved and suffering reduced. Every dollar helps and we are very pleased to offer our assistance to the men, women and children of the Philippines,” Lim added.

Amitabha Malaysia held the fund drive in coordination with all Amitabha branches across the state. (PR – Kerwin Macopia)


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UN Refugee Agency donates relief goods to DSWD

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) whose primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees, recently donated relief goods to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII for the three municipalities in Bantayan Island badly hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda, namely;  Sta. Fe, Bantayan and Madridejos.

In a simple ceremony held in the municipality of Sta. Fe, Cebu, Mr. Carlos L. Batalla, Jr. of UNHCR turned over the goods to DSWD Field Office VII regional director Mercedita P. Jabagat.  Immediately after the turn over, DSWD dispatched the goods to the representatives from the three municipalities who witnessed the activity.

The goods composed of 500 bales family tents, 200 bales plastic sheets for roof, 22 rolls plastic sheets for wall, 20 boxes at 5 cans per box jerry cans (water containers), 500 boxes kitchen sets and 500 solar lanterns were brought to Bantayan Island by the HMAS Tubrok, an Australian Navy Boat under the command of Commander Leif Maxfield in coordination with the Philippine Navy.  Sta. Fe mayor Jose Esgana welcomed Maxfield’s troop.  The Australian Navy’s trip to Bantayan Island was facilitated by Commander Ulysses Deliva of the Philippine Navy.

Before the goods arrived in Bantayan Island, Director Mercedita P. Jabagat and her team met Madridejos Mayor Salvador dela Fuente, Bantayan Mayor Ian Christopher Escario, and Sta. Fe Mayor Jose Esgana in their respective offices to inform them of the UNHCR donation intended for Bantayan Island municipalities.  She also explained to them the process and documentation needed in the distribution of the relief items to the beneficiaries. (PR – Leah Tagalo-Quintana)


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More than 100T family food packs distributed to Yolanda survivors in Northern Cebu

More than 100,000 family food packs have been distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII in Typhoon devastated areas in Cebu Province.

Most of the relief goods went to the Northern part of Cebu where Typhoon Yolanda made its third fall and destroyed houses and livelihood.

“We still continue to dispatch relief goods especially to Northern Cebu as the different Local Government Units (LGUs) requested for additional family food packs,” Regional Director Mercedita Jabagat said.

DSWD sent relief goods to the municipalities of Bantayan, Borbon, Carmen, Catmon, Consolacion, Daan Bantayan, Madridejos, Medellin, Pilar, Poro, San Francisco, San Remegio, Santa Fe, Sogod, Tabogon, Tabuelan, Tudela as well as Cities of Bogo, Cebu, Mandaue and Talisay.

“We are also sending non-food items like used clothing,” Jabagat added.

“We would also like to clarify that DSWD will not totally stop its relief operations by December,” Jabagat underscored.

Starting January 2014, DSWD relief operation will continue. However, it will prioritize families who are vulnerable and disadvantaged like those who have small children, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities (PWDs).

DSWD will soon implement the Cash for Work (CFW) Program which will provide temporary employment to the affected families in Cebu.

Under the CFW, each beneficiary will be given a cash assistance which is 75 percent of the minimum daily wage in their local area, in exchange for 15 days of disaster rehabilitation activities in communities that were affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

“The program aims to provide temporary means of livelihood for the Typhoon survivors while they do rehabilitation work in their own communities,” Jabagat added. (PR – Kerwin Macopia)


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Moving on after ‘Yolanda’

Almost a month after Supertyphoon Yolanda battered the Visayas, affected families are finding ways to achieve normalcy in their lives.

While recovery and rehabilitation efforts are being planned out, many chose to leave, temporarily or even permanently, their battered hometowns hoping to start life anew.

Others opted to stay and manage to live with what is left of their belongings.

Starting anew in Cebu City

Reo and Mechie Cagabhion are among those who left Tacloban City for Cebu via a C-130 of the Philippine Airforce.

“We came here just wanting to escape the scenes of death and devastation in Tacloban City and to start again,” the couple stated.

Despite their traumatic experience, the Cagabhions are grateful that they are all alive and together.

They are now staying in an evacuation center in Barangay Tinago, Cebu City.

The couple and fellow survivors expressed their gratitude to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Field Office VII, the Local City Social Welfare and Development Office (LCSWDO) of Cebu,  and the Barangay Council of Tinago headed by Chairman Joel Garganera.

“They are all very accommodating, going out of their way to provide for our basic needs and making us feel comfortable at the evacuation center,” the couple said.

They feel like they must have been right about their decision to move to Cebu City because Reo found a new job here.

Reo, who used to work as an optical technician in an optical shop in Tacloban City was hired by its Cebu branch. His employer looked for and recommended him to the manager of the Cebu branch. He started to work last November 27.

Cherry, 9, the eldest of Reo and Menchie, said she still wanted to go back to Tacloban as she is eager to attend school again.

The couple, however, has decided to stay in Cebu for some more months just to make sure that their children have recovered from their trauma.

Hopeful in Tacloban City

Unlike the Cagabhion family, the Del Monte family, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary, chose to remain in Tacloban City.

Flora, the mother, expressed that they are used to being poor. Thus, they are sure to survive even if ‘Yolanda’ has taken so much from the little things they have.

The Del Monte couple has seven children, but their third child drowned during the typhoon.

Kakayanin namin ito. Malaking maitutulong ng aming cash grant mula sa Pantawid Pamilya para makapagsimula ulit (We will survive.  Our cash grants from Pantawid Pamilya will be a big help for us to start again),” Flora said with much hopefulness in her voice.

In fact, she said, her husband Nilo, has started to look for materials to reconstruct their house.

They are grateful to everyone who has offered help especially to DSWD from whom they received their first relief goods that included rice and water.

“If not for DSWD, we would have starved,” she expressed.

Gemarie, 12, one of her daughters, while washing their clothes, shared how she and her two other younger siblings enjoyed the play therapy session conducted by the DSWD staff at the Leyte National High School where they evacuated.

She remarked, “The other children said they also lost their houses but we had fun playing and drawing.”

On the other hand, 10-year old Kim Joseph Umlang, also a Pantawid   Pamilya beneficiary from Bgry. 36, Sabang, Tacloban City, and the other children at the evacuation center at Kapangian Central School gamely joined the play therapy session conducted by social workers.

The children, whose innocence, optimism, and high spirits have not been dampened by ‘Yolanda,’ even asked for school supplies so they could go back to school and do writing, reading, and drawing again. (PR – Mitzie Santiago)


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One-stop station for donations set up in Cebu

Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu – As various humanitarian aid for ‘Yolanda’-hit areas in the Visayas continue to arrive at the city, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Field Office VII partnered with other government agencies to set up a one-stop processing station for all foreign donations at the Mactan Airbase.

This is in response to the call of Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Ruffy Biazon for a venue to centralize the processing and documentation of donated relief supplies and to facilitate their release within 24 hours from filing of import entry. The one-stop station is open 24/7.

However, the DSWD clarified that not all donations are in its custody.

“It really depends on the donor and to whom they would like to give their donations. Based on protocol, all documents will pass through the one-stop processing center but it does not mean that DSWD will receive all donations,” DSWD-FO VII Regional Director Mercedita Jabagat emphasized.

“There are international organizations that choose to give their donations to their local counterparts,” Jabagat added.


Based on the revised omnibus guidelines in the management and processing of donations in facilitating the issuance of certification for duty free entry of foreign donations, Social Welfare and Development Agencies (SWDA) shall submit authenticated deed of donation from the Philippine Consular Office of the country of origin. This should come with an accompanying certificate of the fitness of food and medicine for consumption and of compliance with the country of origin’s sanitary and phytosanitary standards.

They also need to submit shipping documents such as original and/or duly certified true copy of Bill of Lading or Airway Bill and Packing List.

The receiving consignee will sign a waiver and submit a status report of the distribution or utilization of donation.


Currently, DSWD has been made consignee for the donations of nine countries – Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, India, Canada, China, Thailand, Australia and Indonesia.

Last week, the People’s Republic of China donated 2,600 packages of tents and blankets.

“The Chinese Government has been following closely the situation in the typhoon-hit areas,” said Economic & Commercial Counsellor Wu Zhengping.

 “China and the Philippines are neighbors. There is a long history of friendly exchanges and cooperation. Our donation demonstrates our friendly sentiment to the Filipinos,” Wu added.

Dir. Jabagat assured that all donations are properly accounted for and acknowledged.

Aside from DSWD and BOC, other agencies involved are the Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Health (DOH) and Office of the Civil Defense (OCD). (PR – Kerwin Macopia)


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Family tents from Australia delivered

The Australian government handed over yesterday, November 27, 2013, 1,000 family tents for the typhoon Yolanda affected areas to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell turned over the tents to Assistant Secretary Teodulo Romo and witnessed by Lt. Gen. Roy Deveraturda of AFP Central Command, Director Mercedita P. Jabagat of Field Office VII and Minister Counsellor Layton Pike of Australian Embassy.

“Food, water, and the health of people affected by Typhoon Yolanda remain pressing priorities, but the initial focus in those areas is giving way to one of the other priority areas for the Philippine Government: Shelter,” Mr. Tweddell said.

He also said that “while tents are only a temporary solution and are just a small part of our overall assistance to ensure people have adequate shelter, they are critical to helping people start to rebuild their lives and their homes in a more permanent way.”

“Our close cooperation with the Philippine Government throughout this response speaks to the strength of the relationship between our two countries, and I am confident that the assistance will find its way to those in needs of shelter, added Tweddell.

Director Mercedita P. Jabagat said that according to the Australian Embassy office in Manila, another 500 tents will be delivered on December 2, 2013. (PR – Leah T. Quintana)


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DSWD installs online person finder for Typhoon Yolanda

As more families arrived and took refuge in Cebu, relatives and friends desperately look for their loved ones in various evacuation sites, hospitals and even post photos of missing person in the social media.

To facilitate in finding thousands of missing persons, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Field Office VII installed online person finder in its regional web portal.

“Through Google’s person finder app, they can search names for people who are up to now missing after Super Typhoon Yolanda hit the Visayas region,” said Regional Director Mercedita Jabagat.

The online application has two features; “I’m looking for someone” and “I have information about someone”.

Netizen can type the missing person’s name and match with the existing record. If somebody knows any details they can enter the persons given and family name.

All data entered in the web portal is available to the public and usable by anyone.

One can also search through SMS by texting 2662999 (Globe), 4664999 (SMART), 22020999 (Sun), or +16508003977 with the message Search [name]. For example, to search for Joshua, text Search Joshua and send to the corresponding number.

DSWD also adopted the online crowd mapping to provide the public valuable information regarding the agency’s relief operation.

It shows the assistance provided both in food and non-food items to the affected areas. The site also provides the number of displaced families and individuals.

“This is another technological milestone for DSWD in terms of transparency, accountability and coordination with other humanitarian aids in disaster-response,” said Jabagat.

All features are updated in a daily basis.

Netizen can visit the regional website at https://fo7.dswd.gov.ph/ (PR – Kerwin Macopia)


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Couple conducts storytelling for kids in evacuation centers

While various groups and individuals are busy assisting in relief operations ensuring that victims of Typhoon Yolanda meet their daily food needs, couple Joey and Lorna Eguia of Books in Bags chose to help children meet their continuing need for learning.

For two weeks now, the couple continues to hold storytelling and reading sessions for children at evacuation centers managed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Central Visayas.

When news broke out that ‘Yolanda’ will also hit Cebu, a pre-emptive evacuation was made particularly in high-risk areas in the province.

Couple Joey and Lorna joined the pre-emptive evacuation at IBC, Banawa, Cebu City.

“We have been inside the evacuation center a night before ‘Yolanda’ entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR),” the couple said.

Knowing that there would be nothing much to do at the evacuation center, they brought along with them books to read together with the children.

At the height of ‘Yolanda,’ the couple gathered the children in one corner where they taught them how to do origami while waiting for the typhoon to pass.

“Reading is both professional and personal to me. We hope that through our Story and Play Therapy, we would help hasten the healing of children, inspire them more to read, and eventually transform their lives,” said Lorna.

A Teacher and a librarian by profession, Lorna was able to encourage her students to join her advocacy and be story tellers.

Currently, she has twenty (20) volunteers who join her in every play therapy session.

“I have been doing this even before the tragedy and it compels me to do more upon seeing that the kids are happy listening to meaningful stories,” Lorna added.

For grade six pupil, Roman Gonzales, the activity is interesting because he gets to listen to different stories.

“Importante nga ang bata maaram bumasa ug sumurat. (It is important for children to know how to read and write)”, shared Roman whose family is at the evacuation center.

His favorite subject is English and dreams to become a teacher someday.

“Karuyag ko maging Teacher para makatulong ha mga bata nga diri nakakapag-aral. (I want to become a teacher so that I can help children who cannot go to school),” Roman said in Waray-waray dialect.

Aside from the kids, Eguia’s group also cater to youth and mothers and encouraged them to share their life stories and dreams.

The couple also introduced a new strategy through Bibliotherapy.

Bibliotherapy generally refers to the use of literature to help people cope with emotional problems, mental illness or changes in their lives or to produce affective change and promote personality growth and development.

“Part of rebuilding is knowing and tracing back your history, and history is found in books,” Lorna emphasized.

In coordination with the DSWD, Books in Bags will set a regular visit to different evacuation centers as part of the psycho social intervention for internally displaced families. (PR – Kerwin Macopia)


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