More food packs for disaster response seen with automated system

·3 min read

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) relaunched Wednesday, June 22, the mechanized production system of the Visayas Disaster Resource Center (VDRC), a disaster response hub located in Upper Tingub, Mandaue City, Cebu.

The mechanized production system allows the efficient packing of relief goods, storage of food packs, and even eliminates possible wastage because the process is done properly and fast, said Shalaine Marie Lucero, assistant regional director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Central Visayas.

“Kung daghan ta’g food packs nga naka-stand by, mas paspas pud atong response time. We can respond efficiently to disaster-affected areas,” she added.

The VDRC was built by the government through the DSWD and the Office of Civil Defense, in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme, in 2016, two years after they established a network of disaster response hubs across the Philippines through the support of the Governments of United Kingdom and Australia.

The VDRC, the first disaster response center in the Visayas, was inaugurated on April 27, 2016 in Casuntingan, Mandaue City. It was however transferred in September 2017 to its current location in Tingub, Mandaue City.

“The VDRC will cater to three regions in the Visayas: Central, Western and Eastern Visayas. We relaunched it today (June 22) because it was disassembled. Karon lang nato sya nagamit utro because we realized that we really need this facility para sa mga dagko nga kalamidad,” said Undersecretary Felicismo Budiongan of the DSWD disaster response management group.

He added that in time of disasters, the mechanized production system will be complemented with manual repacking of food packs.

"VDRC is equipped with a custom-built mechanized production system designed to rapidly produce 50,000 family food packs in a day, which is enough to feed 250,000 people for three days," Budiongan said.

He added that the mechanized production system of VDCR and that of the National Resource Operations Centre in Pasay City will double the family food pack production capacity to feed 500,000 people for three days.

"Through the newly installed mechanized facilities, the DSWD has been able to ensure efficient delivery of family food packs for the Visayas and Mindanao regions," he added.

The mechanical system has generated a total of 311,280 family meal packets to date. These food packs have been distributed for the whole Visayas, allowing the center to save disaster-affected families.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista, in a message read by Budiongan, thanked the public and private sectors, especially the international partners, for their assistance in making the developments at the Department Response Operation possible.

"I would like to extend my gratitude to the UNWFD for helping us in the establishment of Disaster Response Center in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to improve and decentralize the Philippine government response during disasters and calamities," he said.

The inauguration Wednesday was attended by officials of DSWD Central Office, World Food Programme, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and Philippine Coast Guard. (Ryan Megabon, CNU intern)

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