Gov't to provide food packs to Yolanda-hit families until March

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 02 2014 12:24 PM | Updated as of Jan 02 2014 08:24 PM

MANILA – Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman said the government can provide food support until the end of March for a significant number of vulnerable families hit by super typhoon Yolanda.

The government, with the help of local and international donors, has been providing relief packs to millions of individuals since Yolanda struck in November.

“How do we define vulnerable families? They are families with lactating mothers or pregnant women, senior citizens, persons with disabilities who are poor. When I say poor, the starting list is the National Household Targeting System for Povety Reduction and the members of the Pantawid Pamilya who already have been identified as poor even before Yolanda and understandably are in a worse situation today,” she said.

“We've also started listing the disaster family access card, those who were not identified as poor before but have become poor due to the disaster,” the secretary added.

Soliman said the DSWD is now transitioning from providing some 3.3 million food packs good for two to three days to ones that will last from 10 to 14 days.

She said some 42,000 of the larger packs have been distributed in Eastern Visayas so far.

The department will then conduct an assessment in the first quarter by which time, there will be massive cash-for-work and sustainable livelihood initiatives rolled out by some government agencies as well as international aid groups and non-governmental organizations.

Soliman added the DSWD is working closely with the Department of Public Works and Highways to provide shelter for those who lost their homes in the typhoon.

Those who have been forbidden to rebuild homes within 40 meters of devastated coastlines will be housed in temporary bunkhouses.

Residents in areas considered safe to rebuild on will receive shelter kits.

“We're working closely with the DPWH as the lead. We are the ones identifying with the City Social Welfare and Development Office the beneficiaries of these shelter kits and/or new communities that are going to be built based on the LGU-identified for those who are not going to be allowed to build their houses again within the 40-meter no-build zone,” she said. -- ANC