DSWD-12 hands P805,000 aid to fire victims in GenSan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/29 July) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12 has released some P805,000 financial assistance and various relief goods to victims of a huge fire in a seaside community here last week.

Norhata Benito, head of DSWD-12’s disaster response assistance and management unit, said Monday they assisted a total of 166 displaced families that are currently staying at the gymnasium of Barangay Dadiangas South Elementary School.

She said they released hygiene kits, sleeping mats and two family food packs to each of the affected families.

Each food pack contains six kilos of rice, eight sachets of coffee, eight packs of instant noodles and six canned goods that could last for three to five days, she said.

For the one-time cash assistance, Benito said they released P5,000 each to at least 161 eligible families in coordination with the Dadiangas South barangay council and the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO).

“Some of them did not qualify (for the cash assistance) as they already received them in the previous months based on our records,” she said.

Benito was referring to families that were displaced in a fire last Dec. 28 at a portion of Purok Islam in Barangay Dadiangas South.

Another fire occurred near the site last July 23, leaving a five-year-old girl dead and destroyed over 100 shanties.

A report released by CSWDO said a total of 166 families or 612 individuals, all informal settlers, were affected by the incident. Some 31 families were listed as victims of the Dec. 28 fire.

At least 87 families owned houses at the site, three were sharers and 76 were renters, with most family members working at the nearby city central public market and other establishments.

Benito said they may later release additional relief assistance to the evacuees, depending on the request from the CSWDO.

“We are just augmenting the assistance provided by the LGU (local government unit). But we are ready in case they would request for additional family food packs,” she said. (MindaNews)