GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/19 November)– Local government units and government agencies in Region 12 are set to deliver around two million pounds or 907 metric tons of relief goods to various areas in Eastern Visayas that were devastated by super typhoon “Yolanda.”
South Cotabato board member Agustin Demaala, who is coordinating the shipment of the relief goods, said Tuesday an initial 50 tons of relief packs from the provincial government of South Cotabato are being loaded into a Philippine Navy vessel at the Makar Wharf for delivery to the typhoon-hit areas.
He said the Navy’s PS-21 vessel arrived here on Monday night as they requested earlier with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
“We are sending an initial 50 tons of relief goods due to the limited capacity of the vessel. But we have requested for additional trips within this week to accommodate all relief donations from the area,” he said in a media forum.
Demaala said they specifically asked the AFP to deploy a Navy PS-20 vessel to assist the shipment of the relief goods.
He said it earlier sent one of the Philippines Air Force’s C-130 aircraft to the area but it only accommodated around 30,000 pounds of relief goods.
“The C-130 can only accommodate one flight from the area since its priority is the Cebu, Tacloban and Manila route,” he said.
Demaala said the provincial government of South Cotabato alone has already gathered around 500,000 pounds or equivalent to 227 tons of relief goods.
He said the city government and the provincial government of Sarangani have signified to ship their prepared relief packages through the Navy vessels commissioned by the NDRRMC.
The city government had committed to send some 10,000 family food packs and other non-food items to areas affected by the typhoon based on the P3.5 million allotment approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
It earlier launched a massive relief drive for donations from local residents, business establishments and nongovernment organizations.
Demaala said the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Region 12, which has allotted some 10,000 family food packs for the relief operations, is also shipping the relief goods through the Navy.
He added that the city government of Koronadal and other nongovernment groups already delivered some relief goods by land travel to Samar and Leyte provinces.
A 28-person team from the Koronadal City government led by Mayor Peter Miguel, who is a doctor, left for Eastern Visayas last Sunday along with some relief goods.
In an advisory, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the team, which is composed of medical and social workers, has set up an operations center in Sta. Fe town in Leyte.
“It is almost likened to a medical clinic doing medical consultations/treatment, stress debriefings and dispensing of medicines,” it said.
“It is expected that by tomorrow, patients will swarm the clinic as they become aware of the medical mission,” the CDRRMC added. (MindaNews)