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Duterte becomes first president to visit Batanes after typhoon

MANILA, Philippines- President Rodrigo Duterte and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo on Friday flew to the typhoon ravaged municipalities of Batanes to personally see the condition of the people affected by recent Typhoon “Ferdie.”

Duterte was the first president to visit Batanes after being struck by a major disaster.

Batanes was the hardest-hit province when ‘Ferdie’, followed by Typhoon ‘Helen’, struck the country almost a month ago.

Duterte acknowledged the immediate move of the DSWD in its disaster response and released, during the ceremonial turnover, some 20 Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) checks for families whose houses were totally damaged in the municipalities of Basco, Mahatao, Ivana, Uyugan and Sabtang.

Later in the day, DSWD-Field Office II staff released all checks for all the ESA beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, DSWD and its Field Offices along the path of Typhoon Karen were taking all precautionary measures as the typhoon moved closer to the province of Catanduanes. The center of the typhoon was estimated based on all available data at 125 km Northeast of Virac, Catanduanes (14.3°N, 125.1°E) with maximum sustained winds of up to 130 kph and gustiness of up to 180 kph near the center.

Currently, the DSWD Central Office (CO), Field Offices (FOs) and National Resource Operations Center (NROC) have a total stockpile and standby funds amounting to Php 1,282,843,611.51.

Of this total, Php 519,909,902.12 are standby funds at the CO and FOs. Of the said amount, Php 476,578,175.35 is the available Quick Response Fund at the CO.

There is also a total of 468,832 Family Food Packs (FFPs) amounting to Php 169,228,457.99 and available Food and Non-Food Items (FNFIs) amounting to Php 575,877,160.28.

Taguiwalo said, “Kami sa DSWD ay patuloy na nagmomonitor at nakahandang kagya’t na tumulong sa mga maaapektuhan ng bagyong Karen. Hinihiling din namin sa ating mga kababayan ang lubos na pag-iingat. Maging alerto po tayo at ireport agad sa mga awtoridad ang sitwasyon sa inyung mga lugar (We, at DSWD continues to monitors and ready to immediately help those who will be affected by Karen. We also appeal to our countrymen to be very careful, be alert and report to authorities the situation in your areas.)”PNA

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