CLOSE to 97 families from Itogon town who were affected by Typhoon Ompong are set to benefit from the “Balik Probinsya” program offered by the Department of Social Welfare and Development in response to the recent disaster.

DSWD Cordillera OIC-regional director Janet Armas explained aside from the Balik Probinsya program, those who would opt to transfer will undergo the program offered by the Baguio City Diocese who would answer for the rental of apartments.

“The Balik Probinsya program offers a package consisting of food and transportation assistance, cash for work food for work for those who would want to go back to their provinces while those opting for boarding houses would be provided with livelihood assistance depending on their needs or requirements,” Armas said.

For the families of the deceased, DSWD provided funeral services consisting of embalming, providing for the coffins, and the transport to the provinces.

Meanwhile, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council assured preparation of evacuation centers prior to the entry of Typhoon Paeng for the families affected by Ompong in Itogon, Benguet.

“We have prepared the tents here at the Wangal Sports complex which was offered by the provincial government. We are preparing for at least 5,000 to 7,000 families coming from the seven barangays of Itogon while food and non-food items are now on standby at the evacuation center,” Armas added.

The department is expected to relocate some 500 to 700 families while other Barangays which have been identified by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau have informed residents in landslide threat areas for the need to evacuate their residences which may be affected by soil erosions an£ landslides.

At present, the RDRRMC is still undergoing search, rescue and retrieval operations for the remaining casualties of the landslide which occurred at level 070 in Ucab, Itogon on September 15.