Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo warmly welcomed a group of fishermen and farmers from Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Lower Abra who recently visited the Field Office appealing for assistance as victims of Typhoon Lawin.

Dir. Castillo assured the delivery of food packs, livelihood, and early recovery assistance but reminded Alyansa dagiti Mannalon iti Ilocos Norte that their group’s petition is still subject to study. Enclosed in the petition are fresh signatures of all their members.

The group’s Secretary General, Mr. Tony Pugyao, mentioned that some of their members have received insufficient assistance from DSWD while others are yet to receive any. Mr. Pugyao also reported the loss of their members’ agricultural properties and equipment due to Typhoon Lawin.

Dir. Castillo explained that while the DSWD is ready to give apt and prompt augmentation when requested, the Local Government Units (LGUs), in coordination with their Local Social Welfare and Development Offices and Barangay Officials, are the first responders in disaster operations. He added that the DSWD will work closely with the concerned LGUs, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and DSWD Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in response to the group’s clamor.

Affected members of the organization will undergo assessment to validate their needs and to ascertain if these will be met by DSWD or by partner agencies. DSWD assured the provision of appropriate assistance to the typhoon victims. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/ Pantawid Pamilya)