Cagayan de Oro City — In aid for the continuing effects of El Niño in the region, the Department of Social Welfare and Development here sends out food assistance to the affected farmers across the province of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental. This is in support to the efforts and requests of Local Government Units who declared their areas in a “state of calamity”.

Based on the list provided by the LGU there are about 24,374 farmers, forest workers, farm laborers and fisher folks affected by the calamity, of which 22,247 are from the areas of San Fernando, Kibawe, Kitaotao, Cabanglasan, Lantapan, Quezon, Valencia, Talakag and Malaybalay City Bukidnon, the remaining 2,127 are identified from Claveria, Misamis Oriental. 

To this date, 3,776 families have already receive a total of 10,850 Family Food Packs while 7,306 families are expected to receive the same number of food packs this month. The other 13,292 families are still on the process of validation as to their eligibility for assistance. The Family Food Packs contains rice and ready to eat foods.

“We want to ensure the public that the department has Family Food Packs and cash assistance readily available for any disaster response”, says Virginia Cardona, Disaster Response Focal. “The effects of the calamity drastically affected the livelihood of the farmers and we believe other agencies of the government and even the civil society groups have also reached out and extended their aid”, she adds.

The department as the lead agency for social welfare and protection will continue to be vigilant and vigorous in addressing related issues. ∎

Written by Jamila M. Taha, DSWD Northern Mindanao