DSWD: Calamity funds sufficient until year-end

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MANILA – As another tropical storm threatens to strike the country this weekend, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Thursday assured the government has sufficient funds to respond to the disasters and calamities.

DSWD Undersecretary Eduardo Punay said in a Laging Handa public briefing that the department still has PHP1.4 billion, including PHP450 million standby funds.

“So, handa po tayo at mayroon po tayong pondo hanggang sa katapusan po ng taon para rumesponde sa pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan na maaapektuhan po ng mga bagyo at mga kalamidad (we are ready and we have funds until the end of the year to respond to the needs of our countrymen who will be affected by typhoons and calamities,” Punay said.

DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo immediately visited the areas affected by the magnitude 6.4 earthquake that hit Abra on Tuesday night, he stated.

“Una niya pong binisita ang Ilocos Norte kung saan po ay tumulong tayo sa mga apektadong mga residente doon, namahagi po tayo sa mga kabahayan at mga pamilya na nasira ang mga bahay (He first visited Ilocos Norte to help the affected residents, we distributed assistance to households and families whose houses were damaged,” he said.

He stated that Tulfo also went to Lagayan, Abra to give PHP5,000 each to seven wounded residents.

He said 236 family food packs, modular tents, and PHP198,000 in humanitarian assistance have been distributed to the victims of the earthquake.

Punay stated that the DSWD has prepared 561,259 family food packs and other relief goods for the areas that would be impacted by Typhoon Paeng.

The weather bureau said Paeng has maintained its strength while moving slowly southwestward with maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

The center of the tropical storm was estimated 510 kilometers east of Borongan City, Eastern Samar and forecast to make landfall on Sunday in the eastern coast of Aurora and Bicol Region.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Paeng is anticipated to further intensify while moving over warm waters of the Philippine Sea.

“It is forecast to reach severe tropical storm category within 24 hours and may intensify into a typhoon by Saturday,” PAGASA said.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.