MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is ready to provide aid to local government units in areas hit by Tropical Storm Dante, according to a statement it released on Wednesday, a day after the storm made its first landfall over Eastern Samar.
The DSWD has standby resources worth P1.105 billion — of which P113 million was used for 222,382 food packs and P766 million for other food and non-food items. It also has around P225 million in standby funds, of which P181.2 million was set aside for disaster response and early recovery operations.
“These resources are strategically prepositioned in 17 regional warehouses and 34 DSWD warehouses across the country, especially in the regions forecast to be affected by ‘Dante’, for immediate augmentation to local government units (LGUs) which will need assistance,” the DSWD said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
To provide aid efficiently to areas affected by the storm, the DSWD operates on a system of “twinning and reinforcement.”
Under the system, a field office provides immediate aid while a regional office and the central office are on standby, ready to augment the field office in case it runs out of resources.
According to its statement, the DSWD has 2,602 Quick Response Team members in its 17 field offices and the central office ready for deployment as the need arises.
The DSWD assured that it was closely coordinating with concerned agencies and LGUs to ensure “an efficient and well-coordinated response operation” to areas affected by the storm.
Since Tuesday, Dante has made seven landfalls, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
It was initially predicted to graze the eastern provinces of the country, but it took on a different path, crossing Eastern Visayas to Western Visayas before emerging over Mindoro Island.
It is now seen to exit the landmass through the West Philippine Sea.
As of 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Dante was spotted over the coastal waters of Calapan in OrientalMindoro, still packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center with a gustiness of up to 90 kph. It was moving northwest at 20 kph.
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