Thursday, 29 October 2009

Before typhoon hits

PGMA sends off 100 vehicles for Luzon relief caravan

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today led the send-off ceremony of more than 100 vans and trucks loaded with relief goods for the Luzon relief caravan held at the Boom Na Boom parking area in the Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, Pasay City.

The relief caravan is dubbed Sama-Samang Pagtulong Relief Caravan to pre-position relief goods in areas of Luzon to be affected by the next typhoon.

As early as 5 a.m. more than a hundred government workers and private volunteers gathered in the parking area to await the dispatch of the caravan vehicles.

At exactly 6 a.m. President Arroyo led the send-off rites with Social and Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap and Pasay City Mayor Pee Wee Trinidad.

The President smiled, waved and cheered all government workers and volunteers for their support to her initiative.

She stood with her cabinet to deploy all the 100 vehicles and waited for an hour until the last truck off to Bulacan had passed.

Together with 21 national government agencies and private and international organizations, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will bring the truckloads of relief goods to 16 provinces in Regions I, III, IV-A and V which are most likely to be affected by the upcoming typhoon Santi.

In an interview, Cabral said the truckloads of relief supplies consist of food packs, potable water, mats, blankets and clothing.

We felt that it was better to advance the delivery of goods to areas likely to be hit by the typhoon, so we will start pre-positioning the relief supplies today, she noted.

President Arroyo ordered different government agencies to join the caravan and provide truckloads of relief goods as well as assist in the preparation of the typhoon.

The caravan is divided into 16 groups based on their provincial and regional destinations. The DSWD have already identified drop off points where Provincial Disaster Coordinating Councils (PDCCs) and local government officials will receive the relief goods. The DSWD will supervise and monitor the distribution of relief items.

The drop off points are in the following areas: Lingayen City; Pangasinan; San Fernando, Pampanga; Cabanatuan City; Nueva Ecija; Tarlac; Tanay; Rizal, Cavite; Sta. Cruz Laguna; Batangas; Lucena; Quezon; Daet; Camarines Norte; Naga; Camarines Sur; Sorsogon; Legazpi; Albay and Virac, Catanduanes.

Partners of the DSWD for the relief caravans include the departments of Education, Energy, Social Welfare and Development, Agrarian Reform, Health, National Defense, Finance, Public Works and Highways, Transportation and Communication, Tourism, Foreign Affairs, Labor and Employment, Environment and Natural Resources, Presidential Management Staff, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, National Disaster Coordinating Council, National Youth Commission, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Office of the Press Secretary, Bureau of Customs, National Food Authority, Philippine Health and Insurance Corporation, Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bases Conversion and Development Authority, San Miguel Corporation, United Nations Childrens Fund and the World Food. (PND)

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