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Palace says it’s up to DSWD whether to stop the distribution of relief goods to ‘Yolanda’-devastated areas

Posted On 2013 Dec 03
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Houses are damaged after powerful Typhoon Haiyan slammed into Tacloban, central Philippines on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. Rescuers in the central Philippines counted at least 100 people dead and many more injured Saturday, a day after one of the most powerful typhoons on record ripped through the region, wiping away buildings and leveling seaside homes with massive storm surges.(MNS photo)

Houses are damaged after powerful Typhoon Haiyan slammed into Tacloban, central Philippines on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. Rescuers in the central Philippines counted at least 100 people dead and many more injured Saturday, a day after one of the most powerful typhoons on record ripped through the region, wiping away buildings and leveling seaside homes with massive storm surges.(MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – Malacañang said on Tuesday it leaves the decision to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) whether to stop the distribution of relief packs to areas devastated by super typhoon “Yolanda” as the government shifts from relief to rebuilding efforts in Eastern Visayas.

Leyte Gov. Dominic Petilla has asked the DSWD not to stop the distribution of relief packs as more than one million people in the province still need relief goods.

“Since the DSWD is coordinating the relief efforts on the ground, we defer to Secretary (Corazon) Soliman and her team with regard to this request,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a media briefing at the Palace.

DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, however, clarified that the distribution of relief goods to typhoon-hit areas will not completely stop by January 2014.

She said families that have no sources of income by the end of December 2013 will still be given relief.

“Nagtitiwala po tayo sa kakayahan at kaalaman ng ating DSWD. Nagtitiwala kami na ang kanyang ginagawa ay ang nararapat… Nakatitiyak din kami na si Secretary Soliman ay ginagampanan ang kanyang tungkulin sa propesyunal na paraan na walang bahid pulitika. [We trust in Secretary Soliman, that what she’s doing is necessary, that she is performing her job professionally and without political motives],” Coloma said.

Coloma said the government will give the typhoon survivors a means of livelihood.

For now, the Department of Labor and Employment has expanded its emergency employment program, especially in areas where bunkhouses for the typhoon victims will be built.

Coloma also said the Department of Public Works and Highways has started the construction of bunkhouses in Tacloban City and Palo, Leyte as temporary shelters for families displaced by the typhoon.

Works are ongoing for the construction of bunkhouse units in four sites in Tacloban City, Palo, Basey and Marabut in Samar. (MNS)

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