Philippines

Taal Volcano Eruption: 10K families stay in Calabarzon evacuation camps

10K families stay in Calabarzon evacuation camps

By Christine Cudis 

RESCUE OPERATION.  Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police conduct evacuation operations in Talisay, Batangas on Monday (Jan. 13, 2020). Residents are advised to take shelter on safer grounds after Taal Volcano erupted on Sunday that prompted authorities to declare Alert Level 4 which means “hazardous eruption is possible within days.” (PNA photo by Joey Razon

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported there are now 10,000 families or 43,681 persons taking temporary shelter in 217 evacuation camps in the Calabarzon Region.

Of this number, some 7,929 families are staying in 171 evacuation centers in Batangas; 2,050 families are in 45 camps in Cavite; while 21 families are in a shelter in Laguna.

Others are taking shelter in their relatives’ or friends’ houses.

As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, the DSWD said the Taal Volcano phreatic eruption has affected a total of 12,059 families or 53,187 persons.

The families staying in evacuation camps are provided with food packs and sleeping kits, as well as other necessary hygiene items.

“The agency has doled out PHP3,917,931worth of assistance to the affected families,” the DSWD said in its report.

In a post shared by the DSWD-Calabarzon, 69-year-old Maria Merinissa Brosota said she was scared when she felt the series of earthquakes at their home in the town of Taal, Batangas. 

 69-year-old Maria Merinissa Brosota (in gray shirt) shares her sentiments with DSWD Field Office Calabarzon Assistant Regional Director Mylah Gatchalian. (Photo from DSWD IV-A)

“I am grateful that I am in a safer place with my family,” said Brosota, who is now staying at Batangas Provincial Sports Complex in Batangas City.

Brosota’s family is one of the 831 families staying in the evacuation center because of the Taal Volcano eruption.

President Rodrigo Duterte visited Batangas Sports Complex on Tuesday and distributed 499 family food packs to 17 families that also got financial aid of PHP3,000 each.

The National Capital Region also provided family food packs and sleeping kits amounting to PHP126,341 to 535 families in the three evacuation centers of Sto. Tomas, Batangas.

The DSWD central office has a current standby fund of PHP215,140,512, while a total of 188,594 family food packs amounting to PHP71,886,774 and available food and non-food items amounting to PHP594,817,072 are in the stockpile.

On January 13, the DSWD field office in Calabarzon produced a total of 5,763 family food packs that were available in their GMA warehouse. It amounted to PHP2,078,967, while a total of 210,583 raw materials/unpacked goods amounting to PHP5,247,740 were also procured for repacking.

Other non-food items amounting to PHP6,321,176 are available for augmentation and standby fund amounting to PHP5,268,000 that they can be utilized to augment the response operation.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista earlier said the agency has sufficient funds to accommodate the victims. However, donations and volunteers are welcome and will be appreciated. (PNA)

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