DSWD warns against scammers taking advantage of Mayon calamity relief situation

January 27, 2018 - 5:09 PM
Soldiers help pack relief goods for displaced families at Mayon Volcano evacuation sites. KJ ROSALES, Philstar

The Department of Social Welfare and Development issued a warning on Saturday for the public in general to be watchful in dealing with possible scammers using the Department’s name in times of disaster, as in the prevailing Mayon Volcano eruption episode.

According to Cezario Joel C. Espejo, Director of the DSWD Social Marketing Service, this is especially so in the case of intensive relief operations for families affected by the eruption of the volcano. He urged the public to be on the alert for individuals or groups using the name of the Department.

In a recent radio interview, DSWD Officer-In-Charge Emmanuel A. Leyco appealed, “Mag ingat po tayo sa mga gumagamit ng pangalan ng DSWD na humihingi ng tulong para sa mga apektado ng Mayon eruption (Let us be careful in dealing with those who use DSWD to ask for assistance for Mayon evacuees).”

“Sa panahon ng kalamidad, mayroong mga gumagamit ng pangalan ng DSWD para sa kanilang sariling kapakanan. Ipinapaalala po namin na ang mga kawani ng DSWD ay may mga ID at nakasuot ng red vest (In times of disasters, there are those who use the name of DSWD for their personal gain. We would like to remind the public that DSWD employees wear IDs and red vests during disaster relief operations).”

As of the morning of January 27, some 21,701 families or 84,449 persons in 59 barangays in Albay were recorded as affected by the eruption of Mount Mayon.

Of this number, in the DSWD registry, some 17,885 families or 67,741 persons are taking temporary shelter in 94 evacuation centers set up by concerned local government units (LGUs).

Meanwhile, another 2,822 families or 11,946 persons are staying with relatives in Camalig, Daraga, Malilipot, and Santo Domingo, but are nonetheless receiving relief aid.

To date, P23,820,399.02 worth of assistance has been provided to affected families; of which, P17,123,024.72 came from DSWD, P2,849,124.62 from LGUs, and P3,848,249.68 from NGOs.