MAASIN CITY (PIA) -- As of Saturday, December 18, the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Southern Leyte released 50 sacks of rice to this city, and 10 sacks of rice each to seven other municipalities, namely, Macrohon, Padre Burgos. Tomas Oppus, Bontoc, San Francisco, Malitbog, and Limasawa.

In addition, the LGUs mentioned also received two (2) boxes sardines, two (2) boxes beef loaf, two (2) boxes corned beef, and a number of instant noodles, Mercy Pacha, provincial social welfare officer, told PIA.

Asked why only a total of eight LGUs got their food packs from the provincial DSWD, Pacha explained the distribution was based on the actual arrival of LGU units in their office to get their allocations that will be distributed to the evacuees of their respective evacuation centers.

Aside from the provincial food packs, Pacha said the regional DSWD office had delivered 5,000 units of food packs that will also be distributed to the 19 LGUs as soon as the highways can be passable.

Each food pack unit from DSWD-8 contained six (6) kilos of rice, two (2) cans of tuna, two (2) cans of sardines, two (2) cans of corned beef, five (5) sachets of cereal, and (5) sachets coffee, Pacha also said.

A day before typhoon Odette slammed the province, a total of 10,826 families or more than 30,000 individuals sought passing refuge in various evacuation centers of all the 19 LGUs, most of them moved pre-emptively for living in high-risk zones, PSWDO records showed.

Meanwhile, in an interview after President Duterte’s visit on Saturday, Gov. Damian Mercado said the DSWD regional office prepositioned 15,000 food packs for the province. (LDL/MMP/PIA 8-Southern Leyte)