[from left] Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon of Davao Oriental, Usec. Lesley Jeanne Y. Cordero of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman and Governor Arturo T. Uy of Compostela Valley are all ears to the points raised concerning coverage of all affected population and shelter response during the recent Inter-Cluster Meeting for Typhoon Pablo.

DAVAO CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other international and national humanitarian organizations have decided to extend the relief operations for typhoon Pablo victims until June 30 this year.

In a meeting held at the Grand Regal Hotel recently, the provincial local governments of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental revealed that relief assistance is still needed by those affected.

“Governor Uy and I share the same thought…we are still hoping that [the Department] would extend the food and cash assistance until June,” Davao Oriental Corazon N. Malanyaon said.

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said, “At some point, we cannot continue providing for the 200,000 plus families. What we will do is identify the families with senior citizens, persons with disabilities, chronically-ill persons, pregnant and lactating women, and child-headed households.” These are considered vulnerable groups.

“Right now it is being referred as unconditional food and cash assistance, which really means we will continue providing the food packs,” the Secretary added.

Rory Villaluna of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also proposed for the inclusion of malnourished children in the unconditional food and cash assistance.

“Concern has been raised that the malnutrition rates is getting higher at this time. UNICEF is creating awareness because we still need support along these lines. We were thinking that until there is a time when families have sustainable livelihoods that will actually ensure that they can afford to buy food or produce food from gardening then there is still some subsidies that have to be provided,” Villaluna said.

Secretary Soliman assures the continuous delivery of the much-needed services, especially to the identified vulnerable groups.

“The commitment of the President is to continue to provide with whatever is needed at the early recovery stage,” she added.

After June 30, the government and the organizations will focus on livelihood programs and other rehabilitation efforts like the continued repair of infrastructures and permanent shelter construction.

To successfully implement this, Secretary Soliman reiterated her call for a strong TS Pablo inter-cluster coordination especially at the provincial and municipal levels, adding, “There’s much more to be done, so padayon tang tanan (together let’s continue moving forward).”

Discussed at the meeting were initiatives and plans of TS Pablo Clusters on Food and Non-Food, Camp Coordination and Camp Management, Protection, Livelihood and Shelter. Provincial response and plans of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley were likewise presented. DSWD