Since the start of the year, DSWD Field Office 1 (FO 1) provided assistance to a total of 30 fire incidents affecting 120 families in Region 1. This is higher compared to the recorded 10 fire incidents during the same months last year based on received Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) reports of the Agency.

With this, a total of 1,941 Food and Non-Food Items amounting to PhP1,714,085.88 was provided. At the same time, DSWD FO 1, through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation, also provided financial assistance with a total amount of PhP16,934,085.88 to the affected families to help in their early recovery.

According to the Bureau of Fire Protection, March sees an increase in humidity levels along with the hot and dry weather leading to an increase in reported fire cases that destroy properties, hence, March is observed in the Philippines as the Fire Prevention Month by the virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 115-A.

β€œMonth of March should not be the only time that everyone should think of fire-safety, because fire incidents may happen anytime, that is why fire-safety should be practiced by everybody, every day. Nakakabahala rin na Pebrero palang ay mataas na ang naitatalang bilang ng sunog kaya (The fact that February has already seen a high number of documented fire is concerning that is why) we encourage everyone to know about the fire-safety because it can help save your loved ones especially those around you,” says Disaster Response Management Division OIC Chief Maricel S. Caleja.

In order to take necessary safety and prevention against destructive fire, DSWD reminds the public to practice the following prevention and safety tips: dispose flammable materials properly; never leave your kitchen while cooking; practice to unplug any unused appliances; learn your building’s emergency evacuation plan; and save the numbers of emergency hotlines in phones to immediately call for help in case of fire.

During a disaster, always report your situation to your Local Government Unit (LGU) for possible provision of assistance. Remember that LGU is the first to provide support to their constituents in times of crisis.

DSWD FO 1 is always ready to provide assistance at any time given that the affected LGU requests for augmentation and submits DROMIC report as the basis of the Agency in providing assistance. By: Nicole Kasandra A. Lipawen, Information Officer II – Disaster Response Management Division