DSWD clarifies ‘no more food, water’ issue for remaining evacuees PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 30 November 2013 10:33

Internally-displaced persons (IDPs) who wish to remain at the evacuation centers will not be forced to move to the temporary resettlement site in Tulungatung, an official from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here clarified.

Assistant Regional Director Riduan P. Hadjimuddin said that false information has been circulating earlier regarding the decision of some of the IDPs who wish to stay at the evacuation centers. According to these claims, IDPs who will not move to Tulungatung together with the over 500 families starting today will not be given relief food and water anymore at the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex, or the Grandstand evacuation center.

“There has been no such inconsiderate directive,” said Director Hadjimuddin. “We cannot just force people to move to the relocation sites, although many of them really want to move to the bunkhouses when they were brought to see the area a few weeks ago.”

Hadjimuddin explained that services for the IDPs are now moving from relief to recovery and rehabilitation. “They (the IDPs) are given a ‘pabaon’,” he said, which refers to several kilos of rice, canned goods and other food stuff. “We will also assist them in determining the best livelihood option to help them start over.”

“The reality is that government is running low on resources, and the affected families cannot forever be dependent on relief,” he added.

In effect, relief to recovery means lesser relief distribution and more emphasis on livelihood interventions.

City Information Officer Sheila Covarrubias said that the transfer of about five hundred eager families from the Grandstand to Tulungatung has begun today. These families have earlier volunteered to be transferred.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman earlier emphasized that “better and more resilient homes will be built” for the affected families.

Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar, on the other hand, said that permanent shelters would be realized within one year.  The city government in coordination with the UP Planades, DPWH, DSWD and other agencies has been planning out the construction of these permanent shelters, and that construction will commence as soon as the budget is already prepared by the national government.