DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 Aprl) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here has assured there’s enough food packs for the victims of the fire that burned at least 1,000 homes and displaced thousands in Barangays 22 and 23 last Friday.
In a phone interview, DSWD information officer Carmela Duron said the agency has 5,000 family food packs at any given time and continuously replenishes its supply as required of DSWD regional units.
According to Liwayway Caligdong, City Social Services and Development Office coordinator, the latest figures as of press time indicate thathas 3,116 families were affected by the fire. Barangay 23 recorded 2,688 families and Barangay 22, 428 families.
Caligdong said they are still validating the information from the different evacuation centers but they will finalize their list soon.
Some non-government organizations have begun helping out with the relief efforts in the evacuation centers located at the Barangay 22 gymnasium, as well as the Quezon, Rizal, Zonta and Roxas elementary schools and Magsaysay Park.
Duron said the CSSDO has so far requested 2,500 family food packs for the evacuees.
“The DSWD has allocated 2,500 family food packs to augment the city’s assistance,” she said, adding that the Office of Rep. Karlo Nograles has added 500 to the agency’s distributed goods.
Barangay 23 chairman Alimodin “Wating” Usman, meanwhile, appealed to the public for donations to help out with the residents’ efforts at rehabilitation.
Usman said he estimates around 6,000 people have been affected by the fire.
The barangay has conducted an inspection at some of the evacuation centers and determined the evacuees needed mats, cooking utensils, pillows, and medicine.
“We have observed that some of the children are getting sick and we don’t have enough medicine,” he said. “I have instructed the parents to go to the health center for the children to get treated.”
Usman lamented the barangay’s budget for disaster response and relief was only P300,000.
Barangay 23, Usman said, had at least 12,600 registered voters.
Usman said the residents look forward to going back to their homes, saying the residents in the area are holding on to a promise of former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada distributing the government-owned land to the poor.
“They do not want to be relocated,” Usman said.
Davao City Police Office chief Sr. Supt. Vicente Danao, meanwhile, assured the public that they have placed additional troops in the evacuation areas as well as the site of the fire to prevent looting and other crimes.
Initial investigation by the Sta. Ana Police Precinct showed the fire was caused by a candle that was used for a pot session.