RELIEF PACKS. Food packs for distribution by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in two island villages in Rosario town, Northern Samar. Overall, 20,316 family food packs have been distributed to Typhoon 'Tisoy' victims in Samar Island. (Photo courtesy of DSWD)

TACLOBAN CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has distributed 20,316 family food packs to Typhoon Tisoy victims in Samar provinces.

The DSWD in Eastern Visayas has been distributing food packs to affected families since December 3, a day after the typhoon crossed Samar Island.

The food packs are on top of the PHP7.7-million worth of relief goods initially provided by the affected local government units (LGUs).

In an interview Thursday, Joshua Kempis, DSWD regional disaster response operation division information officer, said the operations are still ongoing.

The DSWD dispatches relief packs only when a town requests for augmentation.

“We are following the protocol. The LGU is the first responder because they also have their own prepositioned relief items and local fund. When needed, we extend support by augmenting their supply,” Kempis said.

Each food pack contains six kilos of rice, four cans of corned beef, four cans of meatloaf, and six sachets of coffee good for three to five days for a family of five members.

Also distributed are non-food items such as blankets, tarpaulins, among others.

As mandated, the regional office has prepositioned relief items good for 30,000 families, Kempis said.

“If our prepositioned items are still not enough, we can request for augmentation from our counterpart in Central Visayas or we can also use the standby fund of PHP3 million to buy relief materials,” he added.

The DSWD poured out some PHP32.4-million worth of assistance to towns of Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, and Samar as of December 18.

The damage assessment and relief operations are still ongoing especially in far-flung and island villages.

“As long as there are families who need assistance, we will continue our operations,” Kempis said.

The DSWD reminded the public that the relief items are not for sale. (PNA)