The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Friday reported that some of its regional offices in Mindanao received food preservation machines to be used in storing relief goods for a longer period.
The DSWD said its field offices in Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, and Caraga have received “new vacuum packaging machines” through the National Resource and Logistics Management Bureau (NRLMB).
“These are intended to improve the storage and packaging of the uncooked rice that comes with the standard FFPs that are given to disaster-affected families. This will also further ensure that the rice will not be infested by weevils while in storage,” the agency said in a Facebook post.
The machines worth PHP264,688 would be used by disaster response management divisions to vacuum seal rice allocation included in family food packs being distributed by the agency to the local government units.
According to the agency’s logistic management section, each machine could seal four packs of six-kilos of rice at the same time.
“Having it will prevent our rice from getting molds. Once we seal our rice, it can stay free from any fungi up to two-years,” DSWD 12 regional director Cezario Joel Espejo said.
As of Thursday, the DSWD has distributed 2.2 million family food packs (FFPs) to all regions in the country.
The agency’s disaster response operations monitoring and information center (DROMIC) said that the National Capital Region received the biggest chunk of allocation with 377,186 FFPs. DSWD Field Office in Eastern Visayas (Region 8), on the other hand, received 16,371 FFPs.
It added that the overall cost of relief assistance, including non-food items, amounted to PHP1.64 billion.
These are accumulated amount from DSWD’s PHP1.12 billion, non-government organizations’ PHP478.94 million, and PHP31.84 million from other sources. (PNA)