DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/04 February) – Region XI will host one of the three satellite warehouses the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is planning to build across the country to augment its national resource center.
In an interview, DSWD Assistant Secretary Camilo G. Gudmalin said the three satellite warehouses will be created in each of the island groups, with Region XI hosting the Mindanao warehouse.
Each of the 1,000-square meter warehouses would cost P20 million and will be finished by end-2014, he said.
He added the satellite warehouses would augment the load of its National Resource Operations Center located in Pasay City.
Gudmalin said they are planning to build the warehouses near airports for faster delivery of aid from international agencies to the agency and eventually to the recipients.
Each warehouse would have food items such as rice and canned goods and non-food items such as mosquito nets, blankets, tarpaulins and matches.
“[Super typhoon] Yolanda exposed a lot of weaknesses in our systems, and we rely too much on one warehouse in Manila,” the official said.
He said the new DSWD policy requires it to be better prepared as the lead agency for disaster response. “We have to intensify our disaster preparedness, not only in the agency but along with the community.”
Gudmalin said that in the case of Yolanda, those who were more informed were less vulnerable than those who were caught in the storm surge.
DSWD regional director Priscilla Razon said the agency was already prepared to assist local governments in responding to calamities, such as during tropical depression Agaton that hit the region in January this year.
The agency has assisted close to 90,000 families in Agaton-hit areas in the region, Razon said.
She added the DSWD had at least 10,000 relief packs at any given time, ready to help families affected by fires, typhoons, landslides, and other calamities. (MindaNews)