July 30, 2019 – As part of the field office’s augmentation and early recovery measures, two additional social workers are now in Itbayat, Batanes to conduct psychosocial intervention to affected individuals and families from the earthquake that struck the province of Batanes on Saturday, July 27.

Joining them is one project development officer (PDO) to assist in warehouse management and assessment of damaged houses.

To date, they join a three-staff field office team that has already extended burial assistance to three clients at P10,000.00 each and eight clients provided with food assistance in the amount of P35,000.00 for a total of P65,000.00. The team will extend additional financial assistance to others affected within the week.

The field office staff also assisted the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) of Batanes and the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) of Itbayat in the conduct of a thorough and quick validation of damaged houses.

The team has been given 9 days for the assessment of houses to be followed by a consolidated report that will be the basis for extending additional assistance through the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA)  program of the agency, as per commitment given by DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista during a cabinet meeting conducted in Batanes Airport last July 28.

The augmentation team also brings an additional P1,000,000.00 as replenishment to the Protective Services Fund to be used as additional financial aid in Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) office Batanes.

Meanwhile, two (2) trucks from the National Logistics and Resource Management Bureau (NLRMB) delivered 6,400 vacuum-packed rice and 60 pieces of folding beds while another truck from DSWD Region 1 brought 125 family tents and 400 boxes of sleeping kits to the field office on July 28 as additional augmentation.

1,000 family food packs (FFPs), 25 family tents, 60 folding beds and 400 sleeping kits will be ferried directly to Itbayat, Batanes from Port Irene in Sta. Ana, Cagayan through a Bureau of Fisheries (BFAR) vessel on Wednesday.

Regional Director Fernando R. De Villa, Jr. has also coordinated with the Philippine Coast Guard through Commodore Ed Fabricante for possible transportation of field office food stocks from Basco, Batanes to Itbayat.  The vessel is currently in Manila awaiting 100 tents, 400 sleeping kits and 10 rolls of laminated sacks from the NLRMB.

Affected families from San Rafael, Sta. Maria, Sta. Lucia and Sta. Rosa at still at the evacuation area in Itbayat’s town plaza for concerns over aftershocks.

As of last report, there are a total of 63 individuals injured, 9 casualties and 2 missing persons as per report coming from the Batanes Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO). ###