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PIA Press Release

Davao region social workers assist social workers in Aklan

Davao City (30 July) -- A team of four volunteer-social workers from DSWD Davao Region recently concluded its augmentation and relief efforts in Numancia town in Aklan to assist local social workers in disaster relief operations.

For two weeks, social welfare officers Dalmin Faith A. Igaña, Gemma dela Cruz, Caroline F. Isugan and Charito A. Blanco conducted Rapid Assessment and Validation, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing and Counseling sessions to victims of super typhoon 'Frank'

According to Igaña, they also assisted in the delivery of relief goods and other food packs. "Numancia mayor Elverita Templonuevo warmly welcomed us for they badly needed social workers to assist the municipal social welfare and development office (MSWDO)."

Igaña said, it was a good thing they came as municipal social worker Ethel Reunir was also a victim who relayed to them a rough estimate of the total affected population, number of families, and number of houses that were totally and partially damaged.

The team's first assignment was to assess and validate the victims of the 17 barangays. Utilizing barangay officials and community leaders like the barangay health workers, barangay nutrition scholars, and day care workers, they set to interview the victims.

It was a blessing that the electricity at the town hall was immediately restored, enabling them to draft their reports very early in the morning and late at night. Thus, upon completion of data gathering, the team immediately prepared a Disaster Operations Report on the Validated Barangays, Six-Month Rehabilitation Plan, Relief Distribution, List of Totally Damaged Houses, and Family Record Sheets of the 17 Barangays.

The team also submitted the Individual Folders of the 17 Barangays containing a Masterlist of Families with Totally and Partially Damaged Houses, List of Families Recommended for Emergency Shelter Assistance, Damaged Assessment Forms Per Barangay, and Summary Per Barangay.

Throughout their stay in the town, they maintained close coordination with barangay officials, MSWDO and the mayor. "The local government unit of Numancia, DSWD Iloilo, non- government organizations, the provincial office, the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council, and other agencies requested the Validated Report of the 17 barangays as basis for relief distribution," Igaña said.

Despite the absence of water and electricity in the area, the team was able to easily adjust to the situation. Igaña revealed, "team work was the secret to all the success we experienced in Aklan."

Even Numancia mayor Templonuevo openly expressed her gratefulness and was genuinely impressed of the team's thoroughness and professionalism albeit some difficulties.

Igaña admits, "a social worker with a willing and committed heart is very much needed even without any experience on disaster relief. It is of great help to the victims considering the knowledge, attitude and skills in managing clients or victims."

"Cutting of trees is indeed a threat to the environment that resulted to the death of innocent people wrought by natural calamities like flash floods and mudflows. This is a wake up call to all of us, whether we are victims of disaster or not, to renew our relationship with God and strengthen our faith in God always, Igaña fervently stressed. (DSWD-PIA XI) [top]

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