DSWD: Transport, communication woes hampering quake-aid distribution

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 30 2022 01:33 PM | Updated as of Jul 30 2022 01:48 PM

A resident of Bangued stands by as he waits for the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to finish clearing debris from his home and workshop in Bangued on July 29, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
A resident of Bangued stands by as he waits for the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to finish clearing debris from his home and workshop in Bangued on July 29, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – Some residents hit by the Magnitude-7 earthquake in Abra have yet to receive aid, as damaged roads and faulty weather posed challenges transporting food packs, Department of Social Welfare Development secretary Erwin Tulfo said. 

Tulfo noted complaints on social media that some residents have yet to receive aid from the local government. 

He urged residents to head to the municipality or to the barangay office for faster coordination of aid. 

"May nababasa ako na post sa ilang kababayan na hindi nahahatiran ng tulong. Ang paliwanag niya ay wala sa evacuation center. ’Yan po ay sa mga bahay-bahay. Ang sabi ng LGU, ang problema po ay komunikasyon ... Pakiusap niya na puntahan sila sa munisipyo, sabihan ang barangay leader at chairman na wala silang pagkain para mahatiran ng tulong ng LGU," he said.  

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To transport aid, authorities used tricycles to move food to areas that could not be reached by bigger vehicles, as roads were damaged. 

The DSWD also tapped the Office of Civil Defense to dispatch helicopters, but Tulfo noted that these can only carry food packs at a limited capacity, and such mobility relied on clear skies. 

All of the provinces' 27 municipalities were badly hit by the quake, Tulfo added, with the DSWD also aiming to provide shelter assistance to affected residents. 

"Overall talagang ang problema ang Abra pero kung pagdating sa pondo mayroon kakayanin masu-sustain [nang] 1-2 months sa pondo meron naman tayong pondo na ibibigay pati ang insasabi na totally damaged may ibaibigay kami na shelter assistance na P30,000 at food packs sa mga magrerepair ng bahay," Tulfo said.