Assistance to Taal evacuees to continue despite lowering of alert level – DSWD

January 29 ------ Amid the downgrading of Taal Volcano’s Alert Level to 3, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will continue to provide assistance to the evacuees, DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista has assured. He said the DSWD’s assistance to the Taal Volcano eruption victims will not be downgraded. “Tuloy tuloy ang ating relief goods kasi kami hanggat may tao sa evacuation centers, sisiguraduhin namin na tuloy tuloy ang ayuda. Walang iwanan hanggang matapos ang problema,” he told the Manila Bulletin in an interview on Tuesday afternoon after the Gawad Ulat Awarding Ceremony as part of the DSWD’s 69th founding anniversary celebration.

In his opening remarks at the PaNata ko Sa Bayan Awarding Ceremony on Tuesday afternoon, Bautista expressed the DSWD’s “deepest gratitude” to the solid support and invaluable assistance of its many partners in the promotion and development of their pro-poor programs and services. “Since 1951, the DSWD has been the advocate of the Filipino people in the promotion and development of social protection programs and services. However, the DSWD will not be able to continuously fulfill its mandate on its own without the solid support and invaluable assistance of its many partners. We share the same heart and compassion for the poor and vulnerable sectors,” he said.

On Tuesday, the DSWD gave the Panata ko sa Bayan Awards to various stakeholders such as the local government units, civil society organizations, non-government organizations, people’s organizations, fellow government agencies, development partners, friends in media, and volunteers “Allow the DSWD to pay tribute and give recognition to your numerous contributions in the service for the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged,” Bautista said. On Monday, the DSWD- Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) reported that the DSWD has extended P9.8 million assistance to the Taal Volcano eruption victims.

Based on the DSWD-DROMIC report, 103, 443 families or 394,094 persons have been affected by the restive volcano in the CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) and the National Capital Region (NCR).