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Salceda thanks Gatchalian for quick DSWD response and full support for request for food packs for Mayon evacuees; House tax chair secures supplies for 10k families in Camalig, Daraga, Guinobatan, Santo Domingo, and Malilipot towns

June 9th, 2023

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) thanked Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rex Gatchalian for quickly responding to his request for food packs for 9,829 families in the 6-kilometer permanent danger zone (PDZ) and 7-kilometer danger zone around Mayon in the municipalities of Camalig, Daraga, Guinobatan, Santo Domingo, and Malilipot, as the volcano has been elevated to Alert Level 3. Under Alert Level 3, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) advises immediate evacuation for those in the PDZ.

Salceda sent the request to Gatchalian on Thursday, May 8, to request food packs for the 45-day and 90-day evacuation scenarios for affected residents in the five municipalities.

“The scenarios are based on historical experience with Mayon volcanic activity, where evacuation tends to be protracted to 47 days or 90 days. We hope that the DSWD will be able to grant at least 50% of the food pack requirements for the 45-days scenario, considering that most these requirements will materialize once Alert Level 4 is declared,” Salceda said.

Salceda is requesting some 147,435 food packs for the 45-day scenario, and 294,870 food packs for the 90-day scenario, or “to at least prepare 50 percent of the 45-day requirement.”

Gatchalian quickly assured Salceda that “we have 60,000 food packs in Albay warehouses. Then, in the neighboring warehouses in the entire region, another 40,000.”

“Cong, we can most definitely provide support to your LGUs, going even further than the 50 percent of the 45-day scenario,” Gatchalian added.

Following the advice of the PHIVOLCS, an initial 4,749 families or more than 18,000 persons have already been evacuated to safety, mostly in public school buildings and previously identified evacuation centers.

In a subsequent statement, Salceda said that the five towns have the most families in immediate danger.

“Southeast quadrant, and Malilipot, in the Northeast – these have the most people exposed to immediate risk. So, we prepare what we need for their evacuation first, before anything else,” Salceda said.

The Southeast quadrant is composed of Camalig, Daraga, Guinobatan, and Sto. Domingo towns with 7,963 families or 29,880, while the Northeast quadrant has the town of Malilipot with 1,966 families or 7,226 individuals.

“Some 5,000 food packs in total have also already been released by the DSWD to the towns of Guinobatan, Camalig, and Santo Domingo following my request. The response of the DSWD, largely due to Secretary Gatchalian’s intervention, has been almost immediate. And we are very thankful,” Salceda added.

“We are also in touch with the DSWD Regional Field Office V, and we are requesting other essential food and non-food items with other agencies, including hygiene and sanitation needs,” Salceda added.

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