GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/09 July) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao had already distributed some P23.9 million worth of relief assistance to some 79,000 families affected by the massive floods in the region since last month.
Bai Zorahayda Taha, DSWD Region 12 director, said their latest monitoring showed that 79,387 families in the region had been affected by the floods, which were brought about by the almost daily heavy rains since late May.
Taha said most of the affected families had already received relief assistance from the agency through its ongoing relief operations.
She said the relief efforts, which were assisted by various government agencies and private institutions, were focused in at least 43 established evacuation centers in several cities and municipalities that were affected by the massive floods.
Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Kidapawan, Tacurong and Cotabato.
Among the areas that were hit by the floods were the cities of Cotabato, General Santos and Koronadal; Lambayong town in Sultan Kudarat; Tupi and Polomolok towns in South Cotabato; and the municipalities of Pikit, Carmen, Pigcawayan, Kabacan, Tulunan, Mlang, Banisilan, Libungan, Aleosan, President Roxas, Magpet, Midsayap and Matalam in North Cotabato.
Hardest hit was Cotabato City where more than 30 villages were submerged by floodwaters due to the swelling of the Rio Grande de Mindanao and its tributaries.
A report from DSWD-12 noted that 39,088 families in Cotabato City had been affected by the floods in the area. Some 5,000 families were still staying in various evacuation centers as of last week.
In this city, at least four villages were declared under a state of calamity earlier this week due to the massive floods caused by the swelling of the Silway River.
Some 70 families that evacuated from the flooded banks of Silway River are currently taking temporary shelter at the gymnasium of Barangay Labangal here pending their relocation.
Taha said the bulk of the P23.9-million relief fund was distributed in Cotabato City, which received P19.026 million worth of assistance.
North Cotabato got P4.165 million worth of relief assistance followed by Sultan Kudarat with P686,000, South Cotabato with P33,750 and General Santos City with P6, 750.
Aside from the evacuees, Taha said the agency also assisted residents who had opted to remain in their homes or just stay with their relatives.
She said they provided food assistance and other relief goods to 27,468 “home-based” families affected by the floods.
Taha added that they also provided relief goods covering a three-day period for the evacuees that had returned to their homes. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)