From January to February this year, the DSWD Field Office Cordillera Administrative Region (DSWD FO CAR) has provided a sum of ₱ 372,607.47 worth of assistance to families and communities affected by structural and forest fires.

OIC Regional Director and ARD for Operations Enrique H. Gascon Jr. remarked that the resources provided through the Disaster Response and Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Program are in addition to the aid provided by Local Government Units (LGUs) to the fire victims.

Based on the reports of LGUs submitted to the Disaster Response Management D ivision (DRMD), 13 structural fire incidents occurred within the first two months which affected 18 families with 59 individuals.

A total of  ₱ 230,148.53 worth of Family Food Packs (FFP), cash assistance,  and Non-food Items (FNIs) including family kits, sleeping kits, hygiene kits, kitchen kits, family tents, and pre-laminated sacks were distributed to the affected families in Abra, Apayao, Ifugao, and Kalinga after assessment and approval of official augmentation requests.

Also, the DRMD Quick Response Team monitored numerous forest fire incidents. As per the official report of the Bureau of Fire Protection- CAR, 72 forest fire incidents occurred from 1 January to 25 February; 36 in Benguet, 26 in Mountain Province, seven (7) in Abra, and three (3) in Baguio City.

In relation, 200 FFP and  100 7L bottles of mineral water amounting ₱142,458.94 were delivered to LGU Bokod and LGU Itogon for distribution to the community volunteers who are currently conducting fire management operations as augmentation to their community kitchen.

Meanwhile, the DSWD FO CAR continues to coordinate with the DRRM Focals and MSWDOs of LGUs with initially reported fire incidents to ensure the provision of equitable assistance to the displaced population along with safety and protection.

The Agency, being the Vice Chair for Disaster Response and lead agency for the Food and Non-­Food Item (FNI) Cluster is mandated to lead the disaster response operations specifically if the LGUs being the first responder, can no longer provide sufficient resources in response to the needs of the affected population. # DSWD FIELD OFFICE CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, IO II MYLYN M. BONGSIAN

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