3 WEEKS AFTER URSULA: 262 families still in evacuation centers

Distribution of relief goods is still ongoing in some areas in Capiz. On Thursday, 73 Ursula-affected households from Brgy. Libas, Roxas City received family food packs. The Pantawid Pamilya staff led the distribution of goods. (Photo courtesy of City Link-Ruiz Urquico via DSWD-6 FB page)

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Relief operations are still ongoing in some parts of Western Visayas three weeks after Typhoon Ursula pummelled Panay Island on Dec 25, 2019.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-6 said on Friday that 262 families composed of 1,280 individuals are still staying in 29 evacuation centers in Panay.

May Rago-Castillo, DSWD-6 public information officer, said they will continue to give relief assistance to these affected families who are mostly from Aklan (230 families).

The town of Ibajay recorded the most number of affected families staying in evacuation centers at 216 while 11 are in Malay and 3 are in Banga.

In Capiz, 31 families are still in evacuation centers. Twenty-four are from Roxas City and 7 are in Dao town.

Only one family in Iloilo, particularly in Batad town, remains in an evacuation center.

To date, 1,370 displaced families composed of 5,719 individuals are staying outside of evacuation centers.

“They will also be given assistance but it’s the local government unit that determines who needs the aid,” she said.

Castillo said will augment the LGUs’ assistance to the displaced families.

DSWD-6 distributed 86,988 food packs as augmentations to LGUs at the height of Ursula’s onslaught.

As of 6 p.m. of Jan. 16, 2020, a total of P39.32 million worth of assistance was given to residents in affected areas. P34.14 million came from DSWD while LGUs provided P5.18 million.

The agency also reported 348,328 affected families composed of 1,471,512 individuals.

Four provinces – Capiz, Iloilo, Aklan, and Antique – were heavily affected in terms of barangays.

Capiz has the most number of affected villages at 383 (139,241 families composed of 621,512 persons).

Fourteen towns – Cuartero, Dao, Dumalag, Dumarao, Ivisan, Maayon, Mambusao, Panay, Panitan, Pilar, Pontevedra, President Roxas, Sapian, and Sigma – and Roxas City were affected.

In Iloilo, 233 affected barangays in the towns of Ajuy, Balasan, Banate, Batad, Carles, Concepcion, Estancia, San Dionisio, San Enrique, San Rafael, and Sara; and Passi City were affected.

Typhoon Ursula also affected 68,859 families in Iloilo.

All 17 Aklan towns – Balete, Altavas, Banga, Batan, Buruanga, Ibajay, Kalibo, Lezo, Libacao, Madalag, Makato, Malay, Malinao, Nabas, New Washington, Numancia, and Tangalan – also suffered from Ursula’s wrath.

In Antique, 81 barangays in the towns of Caluya, Libertad, Pandan, and Sebaste were affected by the typhoon.

DSWD-6 reported a big spike in the number of affected houses.

Recent data showed that 32,743 houses were destroyed while 202,520 were damaged.

“As of now, we are still facilitating financial assistance for the rest of the affected areas,” Castillo said.