The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has readied relief items and activated its emergency center in Eastern Visayas as part of the preparedness measures for the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.
The DSWD on Wednesday held an emergency preparedness and response meeting and inventory of the readied food and non-food items.
Relief items on standby included 2,084 family food packs (FFP), 41,554 cans of sardines, 18,236 cans of corned beef, 194,403 sachets of coffee, 166 blankets, and 3,529 malongs (tube skirts).
“Each FFP ready for distribution contains 6 kg. of rice, four cans of corned beef, four cans of meatloaf, and six sachets of coffee good for three to five days for a family of five members,” Joshua Kempis, information officer of the DSWD’s regional disaster response and management division, said in a statement.
A standby fund of PHP3 million can also be used to purchase additional relief materials when necessary.
Although this is a health concern, Kempis said, the DSWD is on heightened alert as head of the food and non-food items cluster of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
In any disaster, he said, the local government units are always the first respondents.
“When needed, we come in to assist and augment their supply, based on their request and recommendations,” Kempis said.
The DSWD is also finalizing its guidelines for the provision of social amelioration services that would provide more benefits to families and individuals affected by the health crisis.
The department assured they would continue to provide the delivery of “maagap at mapagkalingang serbisyo” (prompt and nurturing service) to the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged while putting premium to health and safety of its beneficiaries and personnel in this of crisis.
In Eastern Visayas, all six provinces have declared community quarantine as an urgent response to prevent the spread of the highly contagious Covid-19.
The Department of Health on Monday confirmed the first case in the region, a 51-year-old female from Catarman, Northern Samar.
As of Wednesday, the region had 262 patients under investigation for manifesting flu-like symptoms. (PNA)