Massive relief efforts underway in ‘Yolanda’-hit areas; over 1-M food packs distributed

MANILA, Nov. 25 (PNA) — Massive relief efforts are underway in the areas devastated by super typhoon “Yolanda,” distributing a total of 1,402,820 food packs to typhoon survivors, a Palace officials said.

“Relief continues to reach Yolanda-affected areas in Central Visayas. Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas reports that, since relief operations started on November 9 and until November 23, a total of 1,402,820 food packs have been distributed,” said Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Monday.

“Yolanda,” the world’s strongest typhoon to hit this year, caused catastrophic damage in the Philippines early this month.

“According to Secretary Roxas, given the amount of relief distributed, most municipalities have been provided with 3 to 4 rounds of relief. On November 23, the Secretary reports that 112,071 food packs were distributed to Leyte, with Tacloban City receiving 20,382. For Eastern Samar, 33,460 food packs were distributed,” Lacierda stressed.

He said the government is working hard to immediately restore normalcy in areas devastated by super typhoon.

“Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, who was tasked by the President to be the overall coordinator for the preparation of relief items, says that, in order to prepare 150,000 family packs per day, the government must purchase P1.2 million worth of canned goods, P1.2 million worth of noodles, P1.2 million worth of instant coffee, and 18,000 sacks of rice,” Lacierda said.

“Each family pack contains 6 kilos of rice, 8 canned goods, 8 packets of noodles, and 8 sachets of instant coffee. The Secretary (Roxas) reports that two million family packs were prepared for shipping and distribution on Nov. 24,” he said.

In response to the directive of President Benigno S. Aquino III to restore normalcy to affected communities, concerned government agencies are speeding up the transition of relief efforts into the full-scale rehabilitation and rebuilding of the areas damaged by the super typhoon

“Sec. Purisima notes that relief preparations undertaken by the government are unprecedented in the country’s history. With massive relief efforts underway, the use of military trucks and ships are spread across the affected areas. Government units are also making sure that all relief items are accounted for and equally distributed,” Lacierda said.

“Sec. Purisima also clarifies that for international aid, foreign donors course these through their respective organizations, which have their own distribution facilities. To date, foreign financial aid pledged totals more than US$ 343 million or over P14.9 billion.

This is in addition to the pledges of the World Bank and the ADB to provide the country concessional loans,” he said. (PNA)