Police Senior Superintendent Roel Acidre, Chief of PRO8 Police-Community Relations Division, supervising the loading of relief goods for typhoon “Pablo” victims at PRO8 Caboboy Multi-Purpose Gym. (PNP photo)
Police Senior Superintendent Roel Acidre, Chief of PRO8 Police-Community Relations Division, supervising the loading of relief goods for typhoon “Pablo” victims at PRO8 Caboboy Multi-Purpose Gym. (PNP photo)

The Disaster Response Team led by Office of the Civil Defense (OCD-8) Director Rey Gozon arrived this afternoon in the provincial capital of Davao for their one week relief operations.

The team on board two trucks loaded with assorted relief goods and P108 thousand cash arrived in Mati, Davao Oriental, around 1 o’clock today, January 3. They were accompanied by a radio group called Alternative Channel Coordinating Emergency Support Services (ACCESS-5) based in the region.

The OCD in cooperation with the Philippine National Police in Eastern Visayas earlier came up with the collection of relief items for the victims of the killer quake ‘Pablo’ who were often seen at the national highways asking food and assistance from the passing motorists.

Police Regional Office media relations officer Inspector Romuel Nacar said the group will distribute goods in the towns of Baganga, Cateel and Boston, all in Davao Oriental.

Inspector Nacar said the goods were composed of 138 sacks of used clothing, 910 pieces of assorted canned goods, 36 bars of laundry soap, bath soaps, 2 sacks of rice, sanitary napkins, assorted medicines and cash amounting to P108, 000.00.

“We have to hasten the distribution of basic supplies to towns flattened by the typhoon,” Regional PNP director Chief Superintendent Elmer Soria said in a press statement.

Typhoon “Pablo” survivors bypassed the Yuletide season as they hole up in evacuation centers and continue to bury their dead, at least 1,067 have been confirmed, and more than 800 still missing, about half of the number fishermen who ventured out to sea before the 16th cyclone of the season struck and now feared dead, reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.

The council said the typhoon affected 710,224 families composed of 6,203,826 people and rendered 300, 000 people homeless. Pablo (international name: “Bopha”) slammed into eastern Mindanao on December 4 and wreak havoc with monster winds gusting up to 200 kilometers per hour, causing flash floods and landslides, flattening communities and banana plantations, and prompting President Benigno Aquino to declare a state of national calamity.

“We’re still lucky that even tough Eastern Visayas was also hit by “Pablo”, the damage was only minimal compared to the widespread devastation suffered by our brothers in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental,” Soria added.

Earlier, a group of soldiers from the 8th Infantry Division has also sent in resources for the victims and families of the casualties in Northern Mindanao.