Gov’t agencies extend assistance to Ilocos quake victims

MALASIQUI, Pangasinan – National government agencies have started providing various forms of assistance to the victims of the magnitude 7 earthquake in the Ilocos Region.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Ilocos regional director Evelyn Ramos said they have started implementing the  Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) for some 750 workers in eight Ilocos Sur municipalities.

Ramos said they have “tapped the victims to do clearing, and cleaning up debris from the recent earthquake, and recycling projects. We have allotted P4.8 million for this program and each of the workers will receive P5,550 at the end of the 15-day work period.”

TUPAD will also be implemented in the other provinces of the Ilocos Region affected by the tremor. “We are coordinating with the Department of Education for the TUPAD workers to help in the repair of damaged classrooms,” she said.

Ramos said they are also collaborating with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to provide training to other displaced workers of establishments that have temporarily closed due to the effects of the earthquake.

“We are also urging the establishments to coordinate with us so we would know how we may be able to help them following the disaster,” she added.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Ilocos regional assistant director for operations Marlene Febes Peralta said they have prepared stockpiles of family food packs, non-food items, and financial assistance to the victims of the earthquake in the region.

As of July 28, DSWD-1 has 17,402 family food packs, 11,515 non-food items, and a P2.7 million quick response fund (QRF).

“We are ready to answer requests of local government units (LGUs) for relief goods and assistance deployed in our satellite warehouses all over the region. If there is a need to augment those in the satellite warehouses, the regional office is ready to augment them,” she said.

Peralta said they are assisting evacuees in the region. As of Thursday, she said there were 683 families or 2,510 individuals in 11 evacuation centers in the region, and 459 families or 2,082 individuals outside of evacuation centers, or are staying with their relatives.

She said those whose houses have been damaged may also request assistance from the DSWD. There are 103 partially damaged houses and 121 totally damaged houses in the region.

Meanwhile, the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center and the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center in the Region 1 have deployed personnel and medical equipment to Abra province to help address the medical needs of quake-hit areas.